Sunset Strip Music Festival - Marilyn Manson, Steve Aoki - August 18, 2012
Lina Lecaro Dude...
*Marilyn Manson Rambles, Makes Jokes About the Dark Knight Killer
*Our Sunset Strip Music Festival slideshow
*Our review of X at the Roxy for Sunset Strip Music Festival, 8/17/12
While the Sunset Strip Music fest has primarily been seen as a head-banger hullabaloo attracting faithful longhairs and babes in studded belts -- and not much else -- it's slowly evolved into a true representation of the ever-changing boulevard. Honoring the past is part of it, but this year's SSMF bill made it clear that new forms of music flourish here too.
Steve Aoki's DJ set at the East stage punctuated the point. The crowd that jumped and fist-pumped during his set was easily the most enthusiastic for any act there. It included lots of "ravers" in neon Raybans (at night), but a large portion were metalhead types and gothy Manson fans. They all even seemed to enjoy Aoki's antics, like popping champagne into the crowd and getting chicks to crowd surf on inflatable beds.
The best dance tracks are called bangers, and many metal bands these days are playing around with electronic beats. Aoki himself started as a rock guy (he worked with The Kills) and still has the locks, so it's not really shocking to see heshers digging EDM. Still, seeing the guyliner set get off on will.i.am and Lil Jon (who joined Aoki) was kind of a trip.
The enigmatic singer referenced drugs nearly a dozen times during his long-winded show. Nonsensical chattering, really bad jokes, awkward lapses between songs and vocals that were off-key and less than powerful at times made for a strange, almost sad set. Clearly, our bizarre interview with him this week was no fluke.
Lucky for Manson strange is his thing, and even when he's a train wreck, it's entertaining in its own way. Still, we've seen this guy at the top of his game at various Ozzfests, and last night's set lacked the power and provocative flair that made him a rockstar. Eerie stage production, a tight band, and some decent Doors covers (the band were SSMF honorees this year) just barely saved this show from being a total disaster.