This past weekend I headed down the dusty trail en route to the Institute of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree for Desert Daze—a long weekend filled with great music, amazing humans, lots of drinks and dust.
Driving down 29 Palms itself could be considered a spiritual experience. As the heatgrew hotter and scenery grew browner, it was clear that we were not in L.A. anymore. We sent good vibes to the campsite, setting the intention for a prime camping spot and speedy entry. Yeah, it worked.
We arrived with plenty of time to pitch our tent—not too close nor too far from the port-a-potties—and planned our music adventure. First, we got the lay of the land. As we ventured into the festival grounds, we passed by enclaves of art installations including TVs and hanging lanterns galore.
Music lovers from all over came to see this festival, and with good reason. From spiritual workshops to incredible visual art and great music, this 3-day festival had something for everyone.
Check out my Desert Daze vlog recap here—with contributions from OperaHippy and edited by OperaHippy (Rachel Blair)
I tried to fit in as many bands as possible, as there was so much talent present at this festival. My Top 10 acts at Desert Daze this year included:
10) Feels. Female-fronted punk and garage-rockers Feels were a great way to start the weekend! They played in and brought the heat very well.
9) Numb.er. I’d seen them before, but it was the first time I really got to hear the vocals! I love their shoegaze-y dark wave tracks.
8) Beach Fossils. I’ll take any chance I can get to see Beach Fossils. The sound they produce is the pinnacle of what I look for in indie music.
7) Jennylee. Warpaint bassist Jennylee’s solo project is amazing. Her stage presence is very relaxed and uninhibited, she’s got a great voice, and is just great at getting people to smile. Plus her dog coming on stage was the cutest thing I’d seen all weekend.
6) S U R V I V E. Yes! I loved that feeling of having my chest drop out of me while the sounds and vibration of 4 synths washed over me with 80’s inspired mysterious pieces.
5) Cherry Glazerr. So much punk rock girl power attitude during her set! She is always a lot of fun to watch, and makes really unique and catchy music.
4) Thee Oh Sees. This was so much fun! They get number 1 for biggest mosh pit. And because they have 2 drummers holding down the same beat—probably not that easy.
3) Deerhunter. Friday night’s headliner was magical. Between the alien voices and looks and commentary to the incredible vocals, Deerhunter was easily one of my very favorites.
2) Vinyl Williams. I stood captivated throughout this performance. I don’t know if it was the dancing white alien jellyfish or the dreamy psych-rock sounds, but I left this set feeling absolutely blown away.
1) Toro y Moi. Every top 10 act was superb, but Toro y Moi was another level. Literally everyone from security to standby-ers were grooving to these wonderfully crafted, funky jams.
And it’s hard to narrow it down to just 10. Just about every act I saw at Desert Daze brought their all and was not to be missed! If you’re a music lover, do yourself a favor and put Desert Daze on your map.
Check out some more photos from the weekend, and if you enjoyed this, please subscribe!