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Credit: Chris Kilkenny


The View From Far Out: Desert Daze Festival

Desert Daze weekend is over, it was a truly phenomenal experience, presenting marvellous visual art display and diverse music line-up for the eighth year.

It’s Desert Daze’s second year having this music festival at Moreno Beach in Lake Perris, California. The previous years have been held at the Institute of Mental Physics in Joshua Tree and Sunset Ranch Oasis in Mecca. Despite the various locations, the aesthetic layout of the festival grounds shared a majestic vibe more than ever; the combination of wonderful music and intertwining with nature.

For three days Desert Daze brought out music that is so different from other major festivals in the country. Technically an assembly of various psychedelic rock or the deeper depth in rock music.

To recap the weekend, Desert Daze kicked off with DIIV, the popular online success Crumb, J. Mascis and King Tuff’s band Witch. Addition to Friday’s schedule, Desert Daze brought out the exclusive and rare act Stereolab performing after ten years of being on hiatus.  It also saw The Flaming Lips performing their 1999 classic album The Soft Bulletin. And if that wasn’t enough, Toronto’s noise rockers Metz was around to close off the evening.

Saturday could be more accurately described as the day of witnessing legends and the “boognish” (Ween fans will understand this). It was Devo, Ween and Flying Lotus all wrapped in one night.  Devo is supposed to on its “Farewell Tour” but it is still uncertain if the art-rockers will ever disband. 

Gene Ween and Dene Ween performed from their fourth album Chocolate & Cheese in its entirety.  A 55-minute album stretched out into a two-hour set that made dedicated Ween followers over-joyed and the rest just happened to be there.

Flying Lotus brought his 3D experience to Desert Daze sharing incredible visuals, kicking it off with “Heroes,” from Flamagra. The 3D experience is worth every moment especially the amount of electronic and hip-hop dynamic that Flying Lotus will be serving through his DJ set.

On Desert Daze final day, there was news Japanese songwriter Shintaro Sakamoto was not able to attend due to typhoon Hagibis hitting the east shores of Japan.  British shoe-gazers Ride replaced Sakamoto, performing all their best singles like ‘Vapour Trail,’ ‘Like A Daydream,’ ‘Drive Blind,’ and so forth.

Alvvays, The Black Angels, Moses Sumney to name a certain few that was delivering the goods on the festival’s final day.  Many attendees went see Houston, Texas trio Khruangbin, shredding the blends of psychedelia and soul as they were one of the final acts as they played before Wu-Tang Clan.

Probably the most outlandish out of the whole weekend but wouldn’t have it any other way, Wu-Tang Clan closed out the night performing Enter the 36Chamber.  It was the hip-hop group’s debut album that would rectify as one of the most prolific rap groups in music.

Wu-Tang Clan and Khruangbin took to the stage together to close it off with a retro-funk style of ‘Protect Ya Neck.’ Also major kudos to Young Dirty Bastard, Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s son for taking his father’s parts with the group, cultivating almost an exact persona of the late ODB.

Wu Tang Clan, Desert Daze 2019

Desert Daze is not like any other festival. Its music selection distributes a unique dynamic that assembles music lovers.  There is a reason why it has been coming back, only encouraging more to attend.  As Desert Daze 2019 concluded, we couldn’t be more excited for next year’s event.