It’s that time of year again to start packing and borrowing your friends’ camping equipment for another amazing weekend under the stars of Lake Perris, California, at Desert Daze 2022! This year though has an especially stacked lineup with King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala (performing Lonerism in its entirety), and Beach House, now replacing Iggy Pop due to international travel issues, headlining each night respectively for this performance-packed three-day weekend celebrating Desert Daze’s 10 year anniversary.
Desert Daze 2022 is a special music festival in the sense that its owners have always gone to great lengths to keep it fully independent: all of their sponsors and vendors each year are independent businesses that allow the owners to continue hand-picking the best artists and create a magical environment each year. This has also helped keep ticket and camping prices on the lower end each year so that the weekend could remain affordable for long-time festival goers. Desert Daze is a truly unique experience that I love recommending to all live music fans that I meet, and one that I am very lucky to be reviewing again for my third year in a row for Pass the Aux.
With so many great artists on the Desert Daze lineup this year, it’s hard to pick only 9 undercard acts that truly cannot be missed. I highly recommend checking out as many artists as possible if you will be going this year, and don’t sleep on the late night or early day acts, some of which have been highlighted below. If you need further recommendations during this great weekend, I’m just a DM away at @swoodsphotos on Instagram.
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
5:05 PM at Moon Stage
As one of the Desert Daze alumni acts performing this year in celebration of 10 years, many veteran festival goers already know what it’s like to experience a live Psychedelic Porn Crumpets performance: exciting, energetic, and truly dynamic. Originally from Perth, Australia, this group has made a real mark on the psychedelic rock scene and are celebrating the release of their new album Night Gnomes. Be sure to make room for this up-and-coming band during your first day at Desert Daze!
8:35 PM at Beach Stage
This French Jazz band, known for their work released in the 1970’s, is one of the acts this year that many may not recognize, unless you’re a big hip hop fanatic. How could this be, you may ask? MF Doom, one of the most renowned rappers of our time, sampled Cortex’s song “Huit Octobre 1971” for the Madlib-produced track “One Beer” on MF Doom’s album MM.. FOOD, an album that made a huge impact on rap in the 2000’s. Cortex is also known as one of the most sampled artists in France, sampled by other artists such as Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, and Lupe Fiasco. Alain Mion and his band will be performing a skillful combination of jazz, funk, soul, and rock in a mystical, once-in-a-lifetime performance that music aficionados and producers alike will not want to miss.
9:05 PM at Moon Stage
As one of Los Angeles’ favorite hometown bands, Chicano Batman always puts on a lively set that also honors their Hispanic heritage. While they play fan favorites from their growing discography, they have also in the past played Mexican classics such as “El Beeper” by Oro Solido (also known as the Beeper song) that get the crowd dancing. Be sure to stop by the Moon stage Friday night for Chicano Batman if you want to dance the night away before King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard take the stage!
12:45 PM at Moon Stage
While some may not plan on making it out to the first set of the Saturday after a night of live music into the early hours of the morning, I highly recommend grabbing your favorite caffeinated beverage and some food as soon as the festival grounds open so that you can check out one of my favorite bands I’ve had the joy of experiencing at Desert Daze in 2019 and in Los Angeles at the Roxy Theatre in 2021. An all-female indie rock band, The Paranoyds put on a high energy performance every time they grace the stage, and their magnetic presence leaves you wanting more every time. This is a group you definitely don’t want to miss!
Frankie and the Witch Fingers
5 PM at Block Stage
Another Desert Daze alumni, the alternative indie rock group Frankie and the Witch Fingers have an eye-catching name and an even more engaging live band sound that continues to entertain Desert Daze festival goers year after year. With this group also being higher on the bill this year, most should be able to catch them on the Block Stage in case anyone needs to get extra sleep after Friday night festivities. Be sure to make room for this band into your Saturday plans!
1 AM at Block Stage
Tame Impala will be the big favorite of Saturday as the one of the festival’s headliners, but another performer that entertains all of Los Angeles that cannot be missed Saturday night is none other than Reggie Watts. Known as a musical comedian, he can be compared to the likes of Fred Armisen and his musical stand-up performances, where similarly Reggie plays original music during a DJ set but also accompanies with pristine vocals and a sense of playful humor that would make anyone laugh. His musical prowess is strongly felt during each performance, and you also feel like you’re at a special secret stand-up performance at the Comedy Store. Reggie provides the best of both worlds, which will be a must-see on Saturday night after Tame Impala!
2:15 PM at Moon Stage
Another Los Angeles hometown favorite, Inner Wave is making waves and gaining more fans rapidly by opening on tours for some of the biggest indie artists to date, such as L’Imperatrice and Foals, and also by being one of the undercard acts for Coachella this year, one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Their moody alternative indie rock sound will be a perfect complement to the other harder psych rock bands that will be performing Sunday. Be sure to get to the festival grounds for lunch in time to check out this up-and-coming local favorite!
5:45 PM at Moon Stage
What can I say about BADBADNOTGOOD that hasn’t already been said regarding this well renowned band? If you aren’t familiar with this group’s creative and skillful instrumental hip hop jazz fusion, it is imperative that you take a listen on your favorite streaming platform right away, or make sure you are at their set Sunday night to experience their wonderful sound for the first time. They are truly one of my favorite artists to experience live, and are rarely on tour or seen performing at many festivals, so this is the perfect time to experience their legendary jazz sound!
11:30 PM at Beach Stage
Last but not least, Radiojed is a special treat of a live performance you can only really find information on within Desert Daze Reddit threads if you have never experienced their wonderful performances at past Desert Daze performances. Radiojed consists of one person who plays Radiohead covers on a large modular synth, and I can understand if you feel skeptical after reading that sentence of if this artist is worth missing part of Pond’s live set, which is also happening at the same time after Beach House’s headlining set Sunday night. I can attest to the fact though, as someone who experienced Radiojed’s late night set last year at the campgrounds, that this is a truly special experience that only Desert Daze festival goers are able to experience each year. It’s a special part of the yearly Desert Daze rituals that I hope you integrate into your festival plans this year.