This year’s Silverlake Jubilee was the most successful one to date in my opinion. It was organized very well as you could even pay via credit card at the entrance compared to last year where security nonchalantly requested donations of the festie. Yes, the admission price has more then tripled, but with possibly no hopes for another Sunset Junction this festival was a great way to kick-start the summer with great music, food, drinks, art and much, much more.
I believe the Hoover stage had the best bands of the festival and I stayed in this area the most time. I was lucky to catch the last few songs of Dunes. This chill, indie, psychedelic pop/rock band was great. The singer had a beautiful voice and the music was poppy, but with a psychedelic twist. The sound inspires me to ride my bicycle along the beach while daydreaming about the beautiful California weather. They played some great songs from their latest album called Noctiluca, which you should totally buy at Vacation Records, Amoeba, or iTunes.
Next, I saw one of my favorite, now local Los Angeles hardcore punk bands called XBXRX. They were all dressed in clown-like rainbow jumpsuits and they really put on an entertaining show. The music is heavy with fast double bass drums and strong guitar riffs, but the band does not look like your typical hardcore punk or metal band with this sound. They appear as ex-art students that are punk-as-f**k. This band is notorious for having crazy shows, which have even banned them from numerous clubs. However, even though the festival had cops patrolling the area, they didn’t stop the band from climbing nearby streetlights while blasting heavy music throughout Silverlake. At one point even a mosh-pit started throughout the crowd and during their finale song a gorilla and Alf wrestled on stage. XBXRX are one of the most entertaining bands I have seen in my punk rock years. Go check out “Un Usper” which is a great XBXRX album.
The festival also had a cool Pepsi area with nice people handing out free Pepsis while a DJ played a mixture of hip-hop and dance music. At one point, there was some young kids break dancing. I was pretty amazed at how good these kids were at breakdancing even though they appeared like five years old. This was highly entertaining and it was nice to drink some cold Pepsis on a beautiful warm day.
Later in the day, I migrated to the Pen Center USA Literary Stage. This stage had great literary performers who read poetry and spoken-word pieces. Molossus, Ben Ehrenreich, and Amelia Gray were some of the best. My favorite was Amelia Gray who told a surreal short story which kept the crowd on the edge of their seats. She warned the crowd that this story was not for kids, which kept me interested. Gray also read some interesting lines from one of her books. It was a great performance where she had written lines from her book and threw them out into the air as she read them. She was funny, witty, and a great performer. Check out some of her books like “AM/PM” , “Museum of the Weird”, and “Threats”.
If you couldn’t afford the festival’s entry fee, there was even a free block party stage. This was great for kids who didn’t get enough allowance money from their parents or even adults who were broke during this Memorial Holiday weekend. However, this area seemed more appealing to young kids as a lot of high-school bands performed such as Public School Rocks. It was a cool hang out if you were a young, hip kid.
The festival also had a cool area where you could drink beers and hang out. This seemed like the hip area and was a good time. You could still chill, drink beers with friends, and hear great bands from the nearby Hoover Stage.
Silverlake Jubilee also had some great food trucks. Some of the highlight trucks were a gourmet french fry truck called Frysmith, a delicious crepe truck called Crepe’N Around, and an amazing Indian food truck called Dosatruck. I was amazed how Dosatruck had such great Indian food such as their delightful samosas and they even had Tandoori tacos. It also seemed like Palazzolo Gelato Truck, Mister Coolee Ice Cream, and Penguin Snow Cones were very popular dessert truck delights on a nice, warm day.
The Jubilee also had some great vendors selling hip, fashionable clothes, posters, art, and jewelry. Some vendors even created live art and live screen-printed t shirts.
Later that afternoon, I heard JJamz and Virtual Boy. JJamz is another great local indie pop band. If you missed them at the Jubilee, you can check them out for free every Monday night during the month of June at the Satellite in Silverlake. Virtual Boy were a three-piece electronic band. They had cool vocoder vocals which reminded me of robot like vocals similar to Daft Punk, but Virtual Boy have a newer electronic sound combining dubstep and electronica. With heavy dubstep bass and brilliant keyboard beats they rocked the crowd and even got numerous people to dance in the streets.
In conclusion, the Silverlake Jubilee was a great success. There were great bands, food and drinks, and was a great way to celebrate the beautiful weather we are so fortunate to have here in Los Angeles with friends and family on Memorial Day Weekend. I look forward to next year’s festival and hopefully it will attract even bigger bands.