Live Blog: Desert Daze 2018

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Desert Daze 2018
Moreno Beach; Lake Perris, CA

[October 12-14, 2018]

2018 saw Southern California’s psychedelic freakout fest Desert Daze reaching its highest highs, as well as it lowest lows. Between a change in venue, a drastic boost in attendance, and an unfortunate weather-related catastrophe, this year’s festivities tested its attendee’s patience in more ways than one. And yet, in spite of some serious mishaps, Desert Daze amazingly managed to pull through for yet another wild weekend, proving yet again why it’s one of the more unique, all-in-one festival experiences out there today.

For a festival that prides itself on its good vibes, this year’s Desert Daze started out on a pretty harsh note. Day 1 was basically a disaster, with the line just to get into the parking lot taking a solid three and a half hours, and that’s after driving two hours from L.A. to get to the festival’s new home of Moreno Beach in Lake Perris, CA. We didn’t even make it into the campgrounds until around 6 PM, and by the time we had settled into our campsite, we only had time to try and catch Tame Impala’s headlining set that night. Little did we know that the travesties were only beginning; less than 10 minutes into Tame Impala’s set, the band was rushed offstage by a sound guy who informed us that there was a freak lightning storm headed straight in our direction, and that we essentially had to get the fuck out. Cue the pouring rain (as well as a frantic series of text alerts warning us to not take shelter under trees, buildings, or tents — leaving us where exactly?), and Day 1 amounted to one of the most ridiculous series of events that’s happened to me at a music festival.

But from there, the clouds hanging over the weekend surprisingly cleared up. I must admit that I was skeptical of the festival moving from Joshua Tree — one of the most legendary parks in America — to the middle of San Bernardino, but Moreno Beach was an absolute dream. Getting to go for a swim in between sets was lovely and once again proved Desert Daze’s affinity for offering much more to festival-goers than just a series of stages to hustle between before driving back to the hotel for the night. Between all the colorful art installations, the bountiful camping accommodations, and the silly activities in the Mystic Bazaar, Desert Daze is a fun festival to hang out at for three days, to say nothing of their penchant for booking an expansive range of artists stretching from Julia Holter to Slowdive to Earth to Death Grips.

The prices are still more expensive than they should be, but there’s something about going from floating in a lake to basking in the apocalyptic noise of My Bloody Valentine that’s hard to beat. Take a look at our photos from this year, and see if you can catch a vibe or two.

Words by Sam Goldner, Photos by Stephanie Riesco

Tame Impala

Kevin Morby

Kikagaku Moyo


King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard

Julia Holter


Death Grips

A$AP Rocky – “Sundress” (Feat. Tame Impala) Video

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A$AP RockyTame Impala’s Kevin Parker has been steadily collaborating with rap, pop, and R&B stars for a few years now, and he recently teamed up on new music with Theophilus London. Today we get to hear what another New York rap sophisticate sounds like over Parker’s pop psychedelia. More »

Theophilus London – “Only You” (Feat. Tame Impala) Video

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Theophilus-London-Only-You-videoLately, the cosmopolitan New York rapper Theophilus London and the Tame Impala main man Kevin Parker have been putting in a lot of work together. They’re calling their project Theo Impala, and after debuting a few tracks at a secret LA show a couple of weeks ago, they dropped three newMore »

Theophilus London and Tame Impala’s groovy ‘Only You’ cover gets the psychedelic video it deserves

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Theophilus London and Tame Impala’s groovy ‘Only You’ cover gets the psychedelic video it deservesTheophilusLondonTameImpala OnlyYou Uai

Just a few weeks ago, Theophilus London and Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker gave listeners a taste of their collaborative Theo Impala project at a sold-out show in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the rest of the world was left reeling with anticipation and the hope that the tunes would hit the internet.

Luckily, videos quickly surfaced and creative auteur Virgil Abloh soon debuted two of the tracks on his Beats 1 Radio show.

For now, their collaborative efforts include an original titled “Whiplash” and the duo’s own take on Nigerian singer-songwriter Steve Monite’s 1984 hit “Only You.” Now, they’ve shared a psychedelic Frankie Latina-directed video for “Only You” and it’s an endearing belter with the homemade VHS feel to match.

Theophilus London & Tame Impala Songs Debut On Virgil Abloh’s Beats 1 Show

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Tame Impala teamed up with Theophilus London last week to debut new music for their new joint project, Theo Impala. Last night, a few Theo Impala tracks debuted on Virgil Abloh’s Beats 1 Show: “Whiplash” and a cover of Steve Monite’s Afro-boogie classic “Only You.” There have also been rumors about a forthcoming … More »

Watch Tame Impala & Theophilus London Debut Their “Theo Impala” Project In LA

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Tame-ImpalaFor a band who haven’t released a new album in more than three years, Tame Impala have had an awfully eventful few days. This past weekend, the band’s set at the otherwise-exemplary psych-rock festival Desert Daze was cut off, three songs in, in for lightning storms. And last night, as More »

Desert Daze 2018 Was An Oasis Among American Festivals

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Desert-Daze-2018For years now, Desert Daze has arrived in October like a mirage in the landscape to which it owes its name. It’s a sudden oasis, where psych-rock bands and artists and stoners and adventurous music fans have gathered, culminating in what founder (and JJUUJJUU leader) Phil Pirrone has deemed an “anti-festival.” And while … More »

Tame Impala Rained Out At Desert Daze

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Tame ImpalaTame Impala’s set ended up getting rained out at Desert Daze last night. The Kevin Parker-led psych-rock band were set to headline the first night of the California festival, but they only made it three songs in before a man came onstage and announced that everyone had to go and seek shelter due … More »

Tame Impala And Theophilus London Debuting New Music Together In LA Next Week

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Theophilus LondonTheophilus London has a way of attracting the attention of some of music’s biggest names. The New York rapper was tightly knit with Kanye West’s entourage for a while there, and in 2016 he got Tame Impala to produce his single “Whiplash.” Now, as Pitchfork reports, London and Kevin Parker’s band are teaming … More »

Travis Scott performs on SNL alongside John Mayer and Tame Impala [Watch]

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Travis Scott performs on SNL alongside John Mayer and Tame Impala [Watch]C Scale F Auto W 706 V1538942802 This Song Is Sick Media Image Travis Scott Tame Impala John Mayer 1538942802043 Jpg

When Travis Scott takes the stage alongside John Mayer and Tame Impala, it’s more than safe to say that “Sicko Mode” is fully engaged. Scott made his Saturday Night Live debut during the October 6 installment of the show, when he circled through New York to vocalize several Astroworld selections alongside genre-bending assistants, John Mayer and Tame Impala. Scott delivered a smooth “Skeletons” and “Astrothunder” medley, additionally catering to the crowd in his performance of recent fan-favorite, “Sicko Mode.” Kevin Parker of Tame Impala assisted on the guitar, as did the equally illustrious John Mayer.

A production that has witnessed some of the most rapid chart upstarts of 2018 thus far, Astroworld charted all 17 of its total tracks on Billboard’s Hot 100. Scott’s sophomore outing, Astroworld followed the chart movement of Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, Scott’s debut album that also rocketed to the number one spot on the charts immediately after its 2016 release. Astroworld saw a number of noteworthy appearances from industry fixtures like The WeekndQuavo, Pharrell, and more.

H/T: This Song is Sick