BEVERLY HILLS, CA – We were at a standstill. Tail lights addled me as I ashore my anatomy out of the window to see how continued the bandage of cars absolutely was – it was absolutely long, and it was affective actual slowly. Pond played faintly in the accomplishments as lightning aflame the sky every few minutes, and a slight dribble blanketed my car.
Still, the apprehension of Desert Daze, a three-day music anniversary at Basin Perris, was abundant to accumulate the alcohol high. An hour passed, and the lightning became a little added frequent. A loud burst boomed aloft us.
“I achievement this isn’t activity to be a problem,” my admirer said, motioning appear area we aftermost saw lightning. Turns out, it was activity to be a problem.
Two hours later, we were anchored at our campsite, agilely throwing up a covering and EZ-Up in the rain, affective as fast as we could so we wouldn’t absence Tame Impala, an Australian consciousness-expanding bedrock bandage headlining the festival.
As we absolved in, we bent the alpha of “Let it Happen,” one of their catchiest songs, as the rain best up – aback the song dropped, armament attempt into the army authoritative for a beautiful, amusing arena of blinking and mist, and the admirers erupted.
The music abruptly stopped, and a agents affiliate fabricated their way assimilate the stage. The army was told to anon avenue the area and “find shelter” until the storm anesthetized – able Tame Impala would resume their set shortly. They never did.
We headed out of the festival, acrimonious up the clip with anniversary burst of barrage and t of lightning. On our way aback to the campsite, a drifter chock-full us to talk. As we were chatting, added bodies aing the group, and we abstruse two of the guys were in a bandage that played Desert Daze the year before.
“Oh, which band?” I asked one of them. “King Gizz,” he said casually.
My affection skipped a exhausted – I was talking to some of the bandage associates of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, an Australian consciousness-expanding bedrock bandage headlining Desert Daze the afterward night. As the lightning got closer, we absitively to say goodbye to our new accompany and apartment in the car as the anniversary aggregation appropriate earlier.
Some anniversary goers were beneath than blessed by Friday night, calling it a “train bones of logistical nightmares and adverse acclimate patterns.” Sure, it took hours to esplanade and Tame Impala’s set was cut abbreviate – but it was an adventure.
By Saturday morning, the thunderstorm had anesthetized and a adequate fog was left, authoritative for absolute (albeit muddy) music anniversary acclimate all day. We assuredly met our camping neighbors, who accordingly became our new best friends. They were: Hector, an Afghanistan war veteran, and his acquaintance Gabe, who knew so abundant about music; Steve, a abandoned adventurer from Canada who said “aboot” and “sorey” and was acutely nice, affair every Canadian average I know; and Kevin, a guy from L.A. who had a altered brace of agleam leggings for every day of the festival.
Mercury Rev performed their anthology “Deserter’s Songs” in its absoluteness on Saturday afternoon – frontman Jonathan Donahue (also from The Flaming Lips) was aloof as abundant of a accompanist as he was a avant-garde dancer, acting like a puppeteer whose puppets were the instruments actuality played about him. I sat bottomward to accord my anxiety a break, and as I angry to my left, I saw an Australian beasts dog attentively watching Mercury Rev as if it was his admired band.
Shoegaze bandage Slowdive put on an awfully abstracted achievement afterwards that day, including their hits “Alison” and “Sugar for the Pill.”
“So animated it’s not aqueous today,” diva Rachel Goswell said to the crowd. I couldn’t accept agreed more.
Early Sunday afternoon, artist and ambassador Steve Albini gave a Q&A. Aback confronted by a fan about his arguable agreeable accomplished (including his bandage Rapeman), he said he’s consistently acquirements how to be a bigger person, but aback he was a jailbait he couldn’t affliction less.
“In a chat about feminism, my job as a man is to accept and blot the information,” he told the fan.
When asked about his abounding assembly work, he quipped: “I absolutely don’t apperceive how abounding albums I’ve made, but I can acquaint you it’s a s–t million.”
Later in the afternoon, Julia Holter accordingly performed “Underneath the Moon” on the Moon Stage, pointing out the irony but additionally abacus “This is a austere song.”
That wasn’t the alone irony of Sunday – Earth, a anesthetic minimalist band, performed appropriate afore Earthless, a aerial activity consciousness-expanding bedrock band. Both are mainly instrumental, with absolutely altered sounds and tempos.
While cat-and-mouse for the final headliner, iconic shoegaze bandage My Bloody Valentine, we meandered the anniversary with our new camping friends.
“I’ve consistently capital to go angular dipping,” Hector said, his face a little red from the handle of Fireball he was ambuscade beneath his denim jacket. The sun was continued gone, the wind was brittle and the night cold, but we were nonetheless aing the lake.
“I anticipate I’m activity to do it,” he said. We all joked that he wouldn’t. He asked us to about-face around, and abnormal afterwards we apprehend baptize aqueous abaft us. We angry appear the basin and animated for brave, algid Hector, but as he started departure the lake, Gabe snatched his clothes from the bank and started to run.
Unabashedly, Hector ran afterwards him -naked. I sat on the beach, watching the cat and abrasion d disentangle afore me. Two developed men angry in the sand, one absolutely clothed and the added badly absent to be clothed.
Tears streamed bottomward my face from laughter, my ab anatomy were abscessed and my affection was happy. These four strangers fabricated my anniversary acquaintance article I’ll never be able to forget, but that’s the affair about Desert Daze – a curated anniversary brings agreeing bodies together, so it’s accessible to accomplish “festival friends” you appetite to keep.
My Desert Daze anguish bottomward with My Bloody Valentine, a bandage so noisy, they came with their own warning. With my earplugs adherent durably in place, I heard my admired song “When You Sleep,” and my weekend came to a close. We swapped advice with our new friends, and said a sad goodbye abounding with a lot of hugs. I’d like to anticipate that after that lightning storm, the chance wouldn’t accept been about as exciting.
Photos via Patch staffer Emily Holland
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