Yesterday's two-part event included a mini-set by British soul singer Stone in the parking lot of Hollywood hot spot Avalon, but the tour truly kicked off in style with a star-studded concert at the club that night.
Snoop Dogg, teaming up with Warren G and Nate Dogg as 213, headlined the event, which also featured performances by Stone, Ozomatli and Sarah Hudson, cousin of actress Kate Hudson.
Even in the midst of the packed mayhem downstairs -- at least by the time 213 came on sometime between eleven and midnight -- the theme of the night was never lost. "I think that the main message is to emphasize November's not that far away and young voters' opinions matter and count," said actress Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling, Bring It On), one of the celebrity hosts for the night, along with Christina Applegate. "Democracy counts, and we have a real say in the future of our country."
Among the artists who've committed to working with Rock the Vote, either through performances or on-the-ground outreach, on the cross-country bus tour are Michelle Branch, Alanis Morissette, Jason Mraz, the Donnas, Kinky, Hoobastank, Q-Tip, Paul Van Dyk and Maroon 5, who stopped by the concert in between filming a video down the street.
Organizers are promising to bring in additional big-name artists to draw attention to the cause during such events as the Democratic Convention in Boston July 26th to 29th, its Republican counterpart in New York City August 29th to 31st and the presidential debates in Miami and St Louis.
The goal of the Rock the Vote campaign is to bring 20 million new voters to the polls in November. Actress Kelly Hu (X-Men 2), who got involved with the drive after discovering that Asian-Americans are among the least represented ethnicities in voting, believes that events like the one in L.A. are a start. "I'm so pleased to see all these great acts that are coming out tonight," she said. "If you can get guys like Snoop Dogg to come out here, it brings that sort of coolness back into voting."
To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here
MUSIC 9 Classic Devo Videos
OLYMPICS 18 Epic Opening Ceremonies