Arts & Culture

The Sunset Strip is Still a Musician’s Rite of Passage

Sunset Strip venues have always loved emerging acts

Kedr Livanskiy onstage at The Roxy, West Hollywood

West Hollywood is home to some of the world’s most legendary concert venues, from the Troubadour to The Roxy Theatre, to the Whisky a Go Go and more. These venues have hallowed histories, hosting countless iconic acts over the decades, but it would be a mistake to consider them relics. For all of the legends that have graced these stages, it’s the new performers and their passionate fans that keep them alive and thriving.

Kedr Livanskiy (Yana Kedrina) performing at The Roxy, Friday, August 3, 2018

For many new bands, to perform on the same stage as the likes of The Ramones and Bob Marley is to follow in the footsteps of giants—a rite of passage of sorts. Likewise, attending these concerts is a rite of passage for many young music lovers. The Troubadour, the Roxy, and the Whisky are among the few all-ages venues in Los Angeles and therefore serve as many LA youths’ introduction to the world of live music and nightlife. While the early years of the Strip were dominated by rock ‘n’ roll, contemporary audiences can find a wide variety of genres on a given night on the Strip. From synthpop to hip-hop to R&B to metal, these fabled venues have adapted to the eclectic tastes of the next generation of music fans.

Yana Kedrina onstage at The Roxy, West Hollywood

Yana Kedrina aka Kedr Livanskiy, one of the many rising artists that keep the Sunset Strip vital with fresh sounds and ideas, recently performed at The Roxy Theatre. Hailing from Moscow, Kedrina draws on an eclectic set of influences to create her atmospheric, nostalgia-tinged sound. As part of Moscow’s underground electronic scene, Kedrina is at the forefront of an emerging youth culture in Russia and has a keen sense of how space and history can shape culture. “I’m 100% affected by place, from the sound quality to the atmosphere of the venue itself. History is important in performance, as in life. I’m incredibly inspired to stand on a stage where Bruce Springsteen once played,” says Kedrina.

Fans at the Yana Kedrina show at The Roxy

Watching the audience during Kedrina’s show, it’s easy to imagine how many people have had formative musical experiences in these spaces. Despite the years that have passed since these venues first opened and the endless ways in which culture has shifted, there will always be young people ducking into a dark club with friends; looking for those particular, ineffable moments of joy that only live music and passionate fandom can offer.

For more, check out our video of Kedr Livanskiy playing her single “Ariadna” live at the Roxy.

If you’re a musician interested in playing these storied stages, you’re in luck—the Troubadour and the Whisky a Go Go both accept booking inquiries online. If their bookers like your sound, you might just become a part of Sunset Strip history.

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