Desert Daze: Another Psychedelic Frenzy

Another October spent in the desert listening to psychedelic music on what seems like Mars has come and gone again. This year brought a much larger group of friends than the last, which meant even more good memories and fun times. This year’s festival also introduced a new group of artists that I was either not too familiar with or even unfamiliar with. One of them – The Claypool Lennon Delerium – has since become one of my favorite bands now.

We learned a lot from last year. We made sure to time our flight into Los Angeles the day before the start of the festival so that we had enough time to pick up our rental car and head straight into the desert, with hopes that the organizers figured out how to smoothly allow cars into the campgrounds with no issues. Overall, it was a success. It was the second year of having to set up camp in the dark, but this time was so much less stressful.

The first day of the festival was jam-packed with incredible artists – so much so that we had to make the decision to skip certain shows quite a few times. This included Frankie and the Witch Fingers, Post Animal, Mdou Moctar, Wand, DIIV, Crumb, W.I.T.C.H., Witch, Fred Armisen, Animal Collective, Stereolab and The Flaming Lips, just to name a few. Phew!

Saturday was a little more relaxed for my personal taste, lineup wise. With that, it seemed that the crowds were quite tame all weekend too. Though I do notice that has been a trend among concert attendees now-a-day. This fact had such an effect on Saturday’s headliner, Flying Lotus, that he decided to cut his set short and walk off stage. It was a disappointment to say the least, as my friends and I were extremely into the DJ’s psychedelic, David Lynch-inspired show toward the back of the crowd.

Sunday brought its own heavy hitters – Dead Meadow, Wu-Tang Clan, The Claypool Lennon Delerium, The Black Angels and Khruangbin. The Claypool Lennon Delierum was an evening delight that ended up rocking my world – the perfect blend of psych and funk. The Black Angels is one of my favorite bands and I’ve been dying to see them live since being introduced to the Austin band years ago. My chance finally came and I made sure I was right up front as they began their sunset show aside Lake Perris. The Wu-Tang Clan isn’t really my jam, but it was great to say that I saw the legendary group live. Lastly, Khruangbin headlined the evening with an incredibly danceable set. While their music is fun and chill, it isn’t something I really seek out in everyday life. But, every time I see them live, it reinvigorates the reason that they’ve grown to such popularity so quickly.

Overall, 2019’s Desert Daze music festival was flawless and brought a variety of psychedelic shows that blessed my ears. All while set upon a beautiful piece of earth with some of my best friends. It’s another end of a festival where I say I can’t wait for the next one.

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