Desert Daze had the best lineup of the year, hands down. You had garage rock favorites, rock icons, punk icons, heavy metal legends, contemporary favorites, just about everything you’d want in a psych and rock fest mixed into the perfect desert setting. Although we couldn’t see every band packed into the 4 day jam fest, we highlighted some of our favorite acts from the three days we were there. We can’t even imagine what DDaze has in store for us next year.
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
The band has been hard at work touring nonstop, working on their 4th of 5 albums for the year, and being generally one of the best bands to see live all year. Their stop at Desert Daze was their last U.S. performance of the year before their big Gizzfest-ival in Australia next month, and it was definitely one of their best. We assume almost everyone at DDaze was in the pit.
What a headliner. There were so many amazing shots of this legend that it was hard to pick a favorite, but perhaps David Evanko’s shot on the official Desert Daze Instagram best summed up this icon. Double middle fingers and shirtless, Iggy’s defiance and stage presence is unquestionable. We couldn’t think of a better headliner for a better fest.
Thurston is a rock and guitar god and he’s made some pretty prominent festival spots this year. A favorite of Pitchfork Chicago, the Sonic Youth alum slayed Desert Daze. We hope to see him at many more fests next year too.
Ariel Pink’s last album was fucking amazing, and easily on our top 10 list of the year. We had to do a double take though because with his constantly changing appearance, we could have sworn he was a young Iggy Pop, clad in oversize sunglasses and sleeveless shirt/semi mullet. Great look for the ever changing Ariel.
Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett
What a winning combination. The duo made an amazing appearance at Desert Daze on their whirlwind and completely understandable hyped up tour and we’re glad they made the stop. Seeing either of these two solo would be incredible, but together, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Eagles of Death Metal
We saw these unapologetic dessert rock raconteur last at Beach Goth right before the tragic shootings in Paris and seeing them right after the tragic shootings in Las Vegas was therapeutic and cathartic in a way that music always strives to be. You can’t stop love and the power of good tunes. These hard playing icons just keep getting better and won’t let down. A testament to the power of all things good in modern music.
Sleep are fucking heavy. We caught them last at Burgerama and crowd surfed out of the photo pit because, you just have to. The doom metal pioneers rocked Desert Daze with their slow stoned vibes and provided the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a stellar weekend. We hope to see the band make more appearances at fests this year because the world needs more heavy as fuck bands around festival season.
It wouldn’t be Desert Daze without Ty Segall. Whether it’s a side project, a limited album lineup, solo, or DJing, Ty’s set is always mandatory. This year, Ty brought up his wife, covered Devo, and just generally shredded through the night. He also played a set with GOGGS this year so many got a good double helping of the garage rock favorite.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
UMO need another album out immediately because we really can’t wait to see what they unleash upon the world. Festival favorite performers for the last few years, the band always gets the crowd grooving with their incredible stage setup and live shows. They’ve been touring extensively the last few years so we really hope to see some new album material too. Their sets are always incredibly packed with hits though.
Cigarettes After Sex
CAS are one of the most in demand and stylish bands on the festival circuit today and we were incredibly excited to catch their set at Desert Daze. They’ll also be playing Growlers Six the last weekend of the month on the waterfront so playing from the dessert to the ocean is quite a leap. Expect to see this band all over the hippest fests the next few years.
Photos by James Sakert