Jane's Addiction and Empire of the Sun Rock the Sunset Strip - Rolling Stone
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Jane’s Addiction and Empire of the Sun Rock the Sunset Strip Music Festival

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Sure, the iHeartRadio Music Festival brought all of the biggest names in music together in Las Vegas over the weekend. But down in the heart of L.A.’s Sunset Strip, rock ‘n’ roll was alive and well.

For two days, the section of West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard between San Vicente and Doheny was shut down for the 7th Annual Sunset Strip Music Festival, highlighting a number top-notch acts, including Jane’s Addiction, Empire of the Sun, Destructo, Tove Lo, Cold War Kids, Big Freedia, Mayer Hawthorne, the Birds of Satan, and more.

Paying homage to L.A.’s rich musical center — paved by legendary clubs including the Roxy, the Whisky a Go-Go, and the Viper Room — the festival was created to celebrate the best of the Strip’s history and artistic inner child.

A week full of events at businesses lining the strip culminated on Friday night with Jane’s Addiction being honored with the Elmer Valentine Award at the House of Blues.

[Related: Catching Up With Perry Farrell as Jane’s Addiction Gets Ready to Headline the Sunset Strip Music Festival]

And on Saturday, Jane’s headlined the fest with an inspired set in which they played their entire seminal Nothing’s Shocking album from start to finish. The band sounded flawless, as if not a moment had passed in the 25-plus years since its original release. The excited capacity crowd sang and danced along like it was the original Lollapalooza in 1991.

Perry Farrell and the rest of the crew treated the crowd afterwards to a few of their biggest hits from other albums including “Just Because” from Strays and “Stop” and “Been Caught Stealing” from Ritual de lo Habitual, complete with women flying elevated from the stage with hooks in their backs.

The band was joined onstage by their family and friends at their show’s close to gratefully thank the festival for the honor they had received the night before for their contributions to the Strip’s legacy.

On Sunday night, Aussie decadents Empire of the Sun closed the festival with an hour-long set that lit up the sky with blue and yellow lights, delivering a performance that felt more intimate in this smaller space than on the festival stages they usually play.


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