Classic Rock Beachfest rocks Sunset Beach

Led Zepland (Led Zeppelin tribute band featuring Shawn Kelly performing as Robert Plant). dnyphoto

Lines formed even before the chain linked gates at the old firehouse at 12th and PCH were opened Saturday as the 17th Annual Electric Magic Classic Rock Beachfest returned to the stage in Sunset Beach.

“It went really, really well,” said organizer Barbara D’Angelo, who has put together the event for the better part of two decades.

“The people of Sunset Beach love this kind of music,” she said, “so they had an amazing time.”

D’Angelo said this is the second event she has staged since the pandemic and it looks like people are back and fully engaged in the event. She said while prices have gone up, everyone that normally helps jumped right in to make it a very successful event.

Complete with tie-dyed psychedelic cloth strung from end-to-end, D’Angelo and her team converted the patio and basketball courts of the Sunset Beach Community Association into a stage setting that could have been in vogue during the heyday of rock and roll.

Once all of the bills are paid, she said the proceeds of the event will again be turned over to the SBCA for use on community projects, she added. “We’re still doing the accounting,” she said, but it looks like the effort will produce $5,437 for the Sunset Beach Community Association, one of the highest totals yet

D’Angelo said this year’s Classic Rock lineup included crowd favorites, Strange Days (a Doors tribute band featuring Jason Tosta as Jim Morrison) and Led Zepland (Led Zeppelin tribute band featuring Shawn Kelly performing as Robert Plant).

Looking to the future, D’Angelo said she invited next gen rockers Familiar Faces to open this year’s show. She said the group, fronted by Sean and Chad Bierman, a pair of 20-year-old identical twins opened with a mixture of original songs that were “extremely well received” by the sell out crowd.

Strange Days had the crowd singing along as they performed many of the Doors classic tunes with Kelly and his piercing voice with Zepland closing the show in royal rock fashion with a throwback treat to Led Zep’s popular tunes, including the rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”

“We are grateful to everyone who turned out and had a great time,” said D’Angelo.