Black Moses mojo was conjured all over this year's Sunset Junction Street Fair, from the beauteous Isaac Hayes painting done by local artist Kofie (live and to the beats of the nearby I&I Sound System reggae ice cream truck), to the numerous Hayes shout-outs at the Sanborn stage (which was a non-stop funkathon thanks to acts like Kim Hill, J*Davey, Antibalas and Kinky) and, at the almost-hidden away Hoover stage, where Hayes photos were projected on a giant screen before Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave) closed Saturday evening.
Moore's chills-inducing set was a moving, soul-soaked tribute but it was far from somber. The salt & pepper headed soulman still knows how to get down and he lit up the crowd with classics (“Hold On I'm Comin',” “Knock on Wood”) and Hayes hits, some of which we didn't recognize, but nevertheless were mesmerized by.
(Interesting sidenote: Moore was recently in the news for objecting to Barack Obama's use of Hold On at his campaign rallies. Ironically, Obama's mug seemed to be everywhere we looked at the Street fair, from tees to posters to buttons to stickers. It may be more gentrified, but Silver Lake -thank god- still aint McCain territory).
Hayes' best known hit, “Shaft” was saved for the end of the set, which was a shame because it ultimately ended up getting cut off due to curfew concerns. And sorry South Park fans, he didn't do Chef's “Chocolate Salty Balls.”
Over at the Bates stage, the Cold War Kids attracted a pretty placid crowd with their catchy rock numbers ( they kinda lack in the stage presence department themselves). Sunday was far more thrilling for rock lovers though, and Beachwood Sparks' Gram Parsons-y folk rock, The Germs “suprise” performance and Black Keys swampy grinds made for a true dancing in the streets feel.
But SJ wasn't all groovin' sounds and good vibes, and we're not just talking about attendees complaints about the ridiculous $20 cover, the rude people at the gates collecting it or how “it's just not the same as it used to be”- all valid. This year, the organizers managed to create some serious bad blood with many of the local business, and it just may boil over by the time the next fair rolls around. Read about the behind the scenes controversy in this week's Nightranger column (and check our slideshow Friday for the fun stuff: the most outrageous fair outfits we could snap… you know you wanna).
In the meantime, enjoy some performance shots from the annual pavement parade below.
Packed, but not as packed as years past: the 28th Annual Sunset Junction Street Fair.
Sam Moore gave more with his tribute to Isaac Hayes.
The Cold War Kids were relatively peaceful on stage Saturday.
Grooving at the Sanborn stage.
Kinky's high-energy set was a highlight.
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