Sunset Strip Music Festival 2014: A Detailed Recap

Review by Andrew Bansal
[Photos by Brad Worsham & Andrew Bansal]

September 20-21 2014, Sunset Strip, West Hollywood CA: The seventh annual edition of the Sunset Strip Music Festival was held this past weekend in West Hollywood across three outdoor stages and the Roxy and the Whisky-A-Go-Go within the Sunset Boulevard street closure between San Vicente and Doheny, and joining the illustrious list of previous honorees Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, Mötley Crüe, The Doors and Joan Jett, this year it was the turn of Jane’s Addiction to be honored with the Elmer Valentine award which they received in a ceremony at the House Of Blues on Friday night. They took the main outdoor stage on Saturday to perform their 1988 album Nothing’s Shocking in its entirety as the headline act of this festival, amidst a diverse spectrum of artists spanning a multitude of genres. SSMF has always been a celebration of Los Angeles music, invariably features LA-dominant lineups, and while some of the early SSMFs brought plenty for the hard rock and heavy metal fans to cheer about, the 2013 edition was largely devoid of the rock ‘n roll element. So the onus was on SSMF to redeem itself this year. The revelation of the 2014 lineup raised eyebrows and garnered bewilderment as the majority of LA locals seemed unfamiliar with most of the participating acts, but any music festival has the potential for a fun outing regardless of its lineup, and with that thought I ventured to see how this one turned out. Continue reading

Samhain, Goatwhore, Kyng & Night Demon Perform At The Wiltern

By Andrew Bansal

September 19th 2014, The Wiltern, Los Angeles CA: Horror punk/heavy metal group Samhain have reunited once again and are celebrating their 30th anniversary with a handful of US headline shows wherein they’re playing a large portion of the debut album ‘Initium’ along with other selections from the band’s catalog. They took the stage at the Wiltern in downtown Los Angeles last night with a stellar support cast comprising Goatwhore, Kyng and Night Demon. For many Samhain/Danzig fanatics who never got a chance to see Samhain in their initial 1983-87 phase and the short-lived reunions thereafter, this was an eagerly anticipated event and there was a feeling of genuine excitement amongst attendees upon the realization that the moment had finally arrived. Continue reading

Ian Anderson Plays ‘Homo Erraticus’ + Best Of Jethro Tull In Costa Mesa

By Andrew Bansal

September 18th 2014, Segerstrom Center For The Arts, Costa Mesa CA: A highly influential figure in the world of progressive rock, British singer and multi-instrumentalist and conceptualist Ian Anderson is best known for his work with Jethro Tull, but aside from that he’s also pursued a solo career that has spanned more than three decades. His sixth solo studio album ‘Homo Erraticus’, a concept album that follows the life of fictional character Gerald Bostock, much like Jethro Tull’s ‘Thick As A Brick’ (1972) and Anderson’s own ‘Thick As A Brick 2′ (2012), was released in April 2014 via KScope Music. He embarked on a two-month US tour last week to perform this new album in its entirety, along with a full set of Jethro Tull selections. The tour arrived in Southern California last night for a gig at the lovely Segerstrom Center For The Arts in Costa Mesa. Continue reading

Cheap Trick & Kansas Perform At LA County Fair

Photos & videos by Matt Nielson

September 17th 2014, The Fairplex, Pomona CA: The 2014 edition of the annual LA County Fair is currently being held at the Fairplex in Pomona and is bringing the summer to an end with a rich range of festivities, which as always include a series of concerts. The rock ‘n roll offerings on the concert lineup most notably features four shows, with Styx having already played on September 12th, and Heart (9/26) and Earth, Wind & Fire (9/28) set to bring the fair to a grand finish in its final week. But last Wednesday, it was the turn of Cheap Trick and Kansas to rock the fair crowd with performances that gave their respective fan bases as well as the general audience plenty to cheer about. Our man Matt Nielson was in attendance to capture some photos and video footage for us. Continue reading

Pyromania Performs On AXS TV’s “World’s Greatest Tribute Bands”

Review & photos by Andrew Bansal

September 16th 2014, The Whisky-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood CA: AXS TV and host Katie Daryl have returned with Season 4 of their World’s Greatest Tribute Bands series, and after kicking off the new season last week, they featured longstanding Def Leppard tribute act Pyromania for episode 2 last night, at Whisky-A-Go-Go, the same venue as the last season but at a new time slot of Tuesday 7 PM Pacific. Based out of Huntington Beach CA, Pyromania have been doing their tribute shows for 12 years now, and they performed here in a lively environment typical of these AXS tribute events. As for me, more than anything, after seeing Def Leppard last July and being largely unimpressed with their set list, I was curious to find out whether the tribute band delved a little deeper into the Def Leppard discography. Continue reading

Mastodon Plays 40-Minute Outdoor Mini Concert In Hollywood

Review by Andrew Bansal
[Photo by Taylor Younani] 

September 15th 2014, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Hollywood CA: Atlanta, Georgia’s stoner/sludge/progressive metal heavyweights Mastodon released their sixth studio album ‘Once More ‘Round The Sun’ via Reprise Records/Warner Music last June, and following a European tour to coincide with the release, they embarked on a short run of US festival dates in Raleigh, Chicago and Sacramento and landed in Los Angeles yesterday for an appearance on ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’, presenting material from this new album which debuted at #6 on the Billboard chart. Free tickets to this outdoor mini-concert were snagged up almost instantly when they were first made available two weeks ago, and fans lined up in searing heat to get a small taste of the Mastodon live experience and to witness the LA performance debut of their new material. There was a whole lot more to this gig than the mere two songs you saw on TV last night, so here’s a review with a more detailed glimpse into what transpired at this event. Continue reading