Earlier this month I made my 3rd annual excursion to southern California for Sunset Sessions Rock! Sunset Sessions at its core is a music conference. Record labels, management, and individual artists and bands come out to perform for an audience of radio professionals, music supervisors (the people who make movie, tv, video game, and other soundtracks), and other music industry professionals. We spend 4 days talking music, discovering new bands, and building a network within the industry.
This year's started on sketchy terms when I woke up 2 days before my flight out with a sinus infection. An overdose of zinc, Vitamin C, and cold meds got me cleared up enough by the time I arrived that I was fine so the weekend was underway. The first day started with the "Passion Panel" which is kinda like speed dating but much cooler. We rotate between tables and get to know each other and introduce ourselves. Afterwards we headed off to Belly Up, the venue for the nightly performances, to see the first night's bands. Cameron Rafati, The Unlikely Candidates, Faulkner (3rd great SSR show), Semi Precious Weapons (AWOLNATION-esque), and Monster Truck (denim wearing, Canadian classic rock style) were the first round of artists and all were great. Feral Vinca and Big B both returned as alumni to perform on the Late Night stage. After hours we headed back to the resort for an acoustic jam with various artists jumping into the mix.
Day 2 kicked off with Oleander acoustic by the pool and a discussion panel and an encore acoustic set by Bib B. Then we talked about social media and how to make the most of our social networks then more acoustic by the pool. Next we got to sit in on an interview with the legendary Sammy Hagar! Great discussion, debut of 4 new songs, and some of his Beach Bar Rum. After that we snuck off for a while to try a West Coast staple: In 'n Out Burger! It was amazing!! Back to the resort and off to the main stage we went. Night 2 saw Cheating Daylight (very talented teen "family" band), Leogun (dirty Brit rock), Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Michelle Delamor, 7Lions, Redlight King (friends of The X and always a great show), Heaven's Basement (mind blowing Brit rockers) and Ed Hale & The Transcendence. The highlight of the night for me was Heaven's Basement who I had heard their album but after seeing them live, I was a full blown fan. Forgot to mention that our boys Skratch 'n Sniff were mixing between bands both nights. Great seeing them as always!
Day 3 started with Bloody Marys and a greasy breakfast to calm the head and stomach. Then a few panels and a really cool keynote discussion with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman that blew my mind at how far Warped Tour has come over the years as a festival. Before the main stage we also saw a poolside performace by The Negotiators, a band of NINE YEAR OLDS who KILLED IT! The final Main Stage rocked with Strange Native, The Boxer Rebellion, Eve To Adam, Acidic (a band I played on Local 99 in the past who kicked some serious ass), Dig The Kid, Brand New Machine, and D-Strutters.
Sunday it was all good-byes and packing as we all headed back home. I had a late flight so I spent the day puttering around San Diego and sightseeing. I did make a trip to the ocean (which was right across the street from our resort) on Saturday and walked in the sand and took some cool pics. Once again I met some amazing people, saw some great friends, discovered some great new bands, and had a freaking blast doing it!
Counting the days till next time...