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Desert Daze 2019: 10 “Must See” Acts

Posted by October 10th, 2019 No Comments »

2019 Desert Daze Preview
October 10-13, 2019
By Eric Tra

In its eighth year, Desert Daze returns to Lake Perris, Calif. for a weekend of weirdness and sonic euphoria. Billed primarily as a psych rock music festival, Desert Daze embraces all kinds of musical tastes with artists and acts ranging from hip-hop to punk and beyond.

While the current state of music festivals overall seems to be in general decline, Desert Daze seems to be an outlier. With a strong line up of headliners ranging from the infamous Wu-Tang Clan to throwback artists like DEVO there is bound to be something for every kind of fan. Here are 10 acts that must not be missed.

Wu-Tang Clan

Seeing Wu-Tang Clan on the Desert Daze lineup might come as a surprise, but then again, is anyone really going to argue with the decision to give one of the most well-known rap groups a headliner spot? I think not. The Wu is set to feature their 36 Chambers album, which for fans means heavy-hitting songs such as “C.R.E.A.M” and “Protect Ya Neck.”

The Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips will perform a show featuring their 1999 album The Soft Bulletin. Fans can expect to hear songs such as “Race for the Prize” and “A Spoonful Weighs a Ton.” Did we mention seeing lead singer Wayne Coyne in all of his majestic, otherworldly weirdness? Yeah, that’s a thing that will happen too.

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Led by Desert Daze creator, Phil Pirrone, JJUUJUU brings sounds that epitomize the spirit of the festival. If their 2018 album Zionic Mud is any indication of the vibes this set will bring, it’ll be like being lost in a psychedelic haze.

Moses Sumney

For anyone who hasn’t seen Moses Sumney live, you’re in for a treat. Sumney weaves haunting instrumentation and tones along with dream-like, echoing vocals that form a unique brand of pop music. 

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Most commonly categorized with a shoegaze label, DIIV’s sound incorporates a lot of influences from surf and psych rock as well. Their new album Deceiver sports a variety of pop forward tracks while still maintaining their true-blue shoegaze drone.

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot is a Russian all-female band who channels political protest through music. Donning pink ski masks, their presence creates a stark contrast to their pop sound. Intrigued? You should be.

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Surfbort combines the raw energy of punk with wholesome vibes of friendship and love, but lead singer Dani Miller’s stage presence is what makes the group’s performances truly memorable. Her wild antics compel even the most idle listeners to jump to their feet and move their bodies.

Animal Collective

Animal Collective is one of those bands you might remember from the golden age of music festivals, but the arty group is still producing catchy tunes for fans to dance along to. Their 2018 release Tangerine Reef utilizes spacey arrangements to create an atmosphere of mystery and wonder.

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The Black Angels

The Black Angels are another rock outfit that really leans into their psych-rock roots. Their sounds are haunting, with influences of surf, punk and vintage 60’s rock. These are the jams you want to be listening to when you’re getting weird in the desert.


Khruangbin’s music blends an eclectic mix of psych-rock and elements of jazz into something truly unique and special. Their track “Maria Tambien,” a surf-like inspired tune showcases impressive guitar work and a melody that is sure to get some bodies moving.

Khruangbin @ THING Festival 2019 by Rachel Bennett

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