Nine Can’t Miss Desert Daze 2018 Undercard Acts

L.A. Witch Desert Daze 2018

At last, Desert Daze 2018 is here. The set times dropped last week, and with a lineup as loaded with killer acts and curious activities as Desert Daze’s, it can be overwhelming to sort through.

Obviously, any self-respecting music lover is going to be tripping out at Warpaint on Friday night and clutching their ears in blissful agony during My Bloody Valentine’s sonic apocalypse, but what about the smaller font acts, late sets and smaller stage bands?

To assist with The Paradox of Choice, here are nine can’t miss acts from the deep undercard of Desert Daze 2018.


Theresa Wayman of Warpaint photo by Frank Mojica


12:30 to 1:30 AM, Mystic Bazaar

What better way to continue that cosmic voyage of Warpaint into Tame Impala than the sweet, sensual, feels-loaded sounds of TT? Proving that the Desert Daze experience is incomplete to non-campers, Warpaint vocalist/guitarist Theresa Wayman will bring her trip hop-heavy solo style to the Mystic Bazaar tent for a set of late night magic perfect for dancing and riding out that “trip.”

“12:30 AM is on the later side,” you may ponder, but compared to the other after hours sets, it’s pretty reasonable. Besides, it’s Desert Daze, and you’ll probably be tripping too hard to sleep, anyway. After all, where there’s a will, there’s a way, man.

L.A. Witch photo by Lee Bedrouni

L.A. Witch

6:15 to 6:55 PM, The Theatre

I first fell under L.A. Witch’s thrall when they opened for Warpaint at a benefit show in Los Angeles back in 2015, and I’ve been under their spell ever since. Essentially a festival house band, L.A. Witch has played Desert Daze every year since 2014. The Los Angeles trio channels the likes of garage, psych and surf rock by way of Phil Spector, and their acid-soaked sound is perfect for sundown in the desert, which is exactly when and where they’ll be on Friday evening.

Photo by Lee Bedrouni

Sugar Candy Mountain

2:00 to 2:45 PM, The Theatre

I saw this Oakland psych-rock band open for L.A. Witch at the end of last year at the Teragram Ballroom. I was infinitely jealous of the kids that opted to take psychedelics before seeing that double-bill because it certainly fit that sort of mindset. Sugar Candy Mountain dropped Do It Right earlier this year and it’s a trippy listen from beginning to end. The guitars are groovy and the vocals of Ash Reiter are dreamy as hell. This is likely how I’m kicking off my Friday at Desert Daze 2018. — Mark Ortega