The Black and White of Sunset Junction’s 30th Anniversary – Photos & Review

Ghostland Observatory

Ghostland Observatory! Hellz yeah!  Experiencing an impressive show by these babes always feels electrifying. Since the first time I experienced them a few years ago upstairs at the Ritz in Austin with an audience of maybe 15 people, they have never disappointed. At this year’s 30th anniversary of Sunset Junction I overheard people buzzing about this band all day creating a thick layer of anticipation in the air. The show ran one hour late as they fixed some technical difficulties but as always it was worth the wait.  As soon as the show started the energy grew intense and the audience’s eagerness to dance was finally unleashed. I was lucky enough to be in the photo pit making me feel like I had my own private show and yummy singer Aaron Behrens, was my own provocative private dancer. The photographers who are normally so caught up in snapping the perfect pic forgot about their cameras and danced like banshees. This duo was cut off early as Aaron stated, “by the man.”  However they were allowed to play one last song “Sad Sad City” off their album “Paparazzi Lightning;” always a crowd pleaser as the audience yelled out the chorus as loud as possible back at the Bates stage … including yours truly. This set was intoxicating, heart pounding, and a kick my ass way to end a SJ night. If you missed it I feel sorry for you. GLO I will always <3 you!

The Fold locals  stage featured a great hometown lineup. For some reason all the bands I caught on this stage provided a very mellow set. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the sparseness of the crowd not giving any energy back to the band, I am not really sure. However, it was a very relaxed atmosphere around this area every time I dropped in.

Eastern Conference Champions

The first band I checked out on the Fold Edgecliffe stage was the Eastern Conference Champions (ECC).  ECC played their song “A Million Miles An Hour” introducing it as a song on the “Twilight: Eclipse” movie soundtrack.  Documented in my notes: Guitarist Melissa is a bad ass! Pinky slide.

Local boys Chief tasted a little like the South and the old West with an indie twist. Also is notable to say they are not bad eye candy. Hmmmm … new band crush?

Oh my God I might die! That’s what my mind was screaming when I saw Los Angeles music history favorites FishBone on the Sanborn stage. This packed audience quickly erupted into a mosh pit … yeah I said mosh pit. They still exist. These guys have been around for 20 something years and they are still stage diving into the audience and crowd surfing. When the band is having a great time it’s always fun to watch and it feels like you got your moneys worth of time travel through L.A. history. The ska-funk-rock group exceeded in creating a chaotic environment on a closed down street of L.A. making me feel like I was a part of a nostalgic recreation of the punk ska subculture of Los Angeles of yester year.

Fishbone mosh pit/crowd surf

Well you can’t experience Sunset Junction with out hitting up some of the junction businesses like Living Room. This furniture gallery store at 3531 Sunset Blvd had a little live music stage and outdoor seating area filled with festival goers. The furniture art and home accessories displayed in this store are unique beautiful works that range from local artists to international pieces. Living Room also showcased a living art exhibit as artist Chad Sorg decided to take this opportunity of the foot traffic flood to actually live at Living Room. For nine days he is living in this store front window and Sunset Junction day one was the first day of this experiment. You can follow him here on Facebook or if you’re a local just head down there. When talking to Living Room owner Steve Melendez, he stated that they had sold a lot of items and “just wanted to be part of having a good time” as he stood bbq tool in one hand maintaining a large grill filled with giant poblano peppers and other tasty veggies. It was obvious this guy takes pride in his gallery style store, loves his artist, appreciates his clients, and is into the Sunset Junction experience.

Congratulations on 30 years and thank you Sunset Junction for another year of music and fun.  Stay cool … See ya next year!

Photos & Words: Roxanne Hilburn


Eastern Conference Champions

Sexy interview with Chad Sorg.

A drunk punk

Thomas of Ghostland Observatory

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