Sleep, King Gizzard and Iggy Pop Stoke Moshers and Crowd Surfers at Desert Daze




Desert Daze gets rowdy on Saturday with Sleep, King Gizzard and Iggy Pop - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Desert Daze gets rowdy on Saturday with Sleep, King Gizzard and Iggy Pop - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Sleep Fans Rejoice as Band Brings It

You know it’s a pretty good party when Ty Segall comes crowd-surfing past you at a concert. That’s what happened during Iggy Pop’s set at Desert Daze Saturday night.

But Segall, who also plays this weekend, wasn’t the only one who was happy about Iggy Pop’s headlining act on a rowdy, dusty, DesertDaze Saturday night in Joshua Tree.

Thurston Moore started off a great Saturday night at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Thurston Moore started off a great Saturday night at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Thurston Moore, King Gizzard, Sleep, Iggy Pop

It was a regular Who’s Who of crowd surfing and a great experience for those who got to carry some of their favorite local rock stars overhead.

Pop’s set, which capped a day of superior musical performances including those by Thurston Moore, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and the powerful Sleep, kept the crowd going until late into the night.

Sleep's Matt Pike plays some acoustic during a strong set at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Sleep’s Matt Pike plays some acoustic during a strong set at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Matt Pike and Sleep

Sleep was the outstanding factor of the day on Saturday with their fans gathered from across the globe in attendance. It’s a rowdy show from three that are rockers who clearly love what they do.  It was a special night for guitarist Matt Pike, whose daughter was on the rail calling out to him.

Matt Pike smiles when he sees his daughter in the crowd at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Matt Pike smiles when he sees his daughter in the crowd at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Fan: ‘I Only Came to See Sleep’

“I only came here to see sleep,” said John Morales from San Francisco. “They’re the best band ever was.”

The doom metal band from San Jose has had a sporadic history but the fan base is unshakeable.

Matt Pike's daughter snaps her dad from the rail at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Matt Pike’s daughter snaps her dad from the rail at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Al Cisneros of Sleep

Al Cisneros has a dramatic flair on the base and Pike captures the audience with his casual style but ultra precise, driving guitar work. Jason Roeder’s work on the drums is avant garde, guiding the band to parts unknown on their musical riffs.

It is amazing that the group has kept going through the ups and downs of record company issues and challenges in the genre.

Al Cisneros of Sleep blows the crowd away - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Al Cisneros of Sleep blows the crowd away – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Thurston Moore

CHECK OUT DESERT DAZE PHOTOS

Thurston Moore brings his impeccable Sonic Youth-style music to his new band, The Thurston Moore Group. The band made a late afternoon appearance at the fest, delighting thousands of fans, young and mature.

Thurston Moore's trusty guitar - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Thurston Moore’s trusty guitar – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Moore has an excellent new album called Rock N Roll Consciousness and he’s on tour in the West and then he’s on to Europe.

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

King Gizzard

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard stirs up the crowd and a dustbowl of its very own. The fans look forward to throwing it down as the Australian band furiously strums on stage. There’s no doubt the band has it’s own style and they’re growing in popularity since we last caught them. Band members are Stu Mackenzie, Ambrose Kenny Smith, Cook Craig, Eric Moore, Joey Walker, Lucas Skinner and Michael Cavanaugh.

CHECK OUT CALIFORNIA ROCKER’S DESERT DAZE COVERAGE

Regardless of what a good majority of the fans on Saturday said about Sleep, it was clear that King Gizzard warmed up the crowd. Desert Days has rarely seen such a display of crowd surfing and mosh pit in the dust.

Indestructable Iggy Pop headlines Desert Daze Saturday night - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Indestructable Iggy Pop headlines Desert Daze Saturday night – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Iggy Pop

With Sleep and then King Gizzard opening, Iggy Pop’s crowd was thoroughly warmed up and while the moshing and crowd surfing was plentiful during his set. It was the crush of the crowd that was quite aggressive.

“It’s remarkable how he draws the fans,” said one long time admirer. “I never miss and Iggy show because you never know what’s going to happen. It’s incredible that he is 71 years old and still bringing it.”

Iggy Pop at Desert Daze - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia
Iggy Pop at Desert Daze – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Desert Daze Sunday

Iggy is still a madman on stage throwing the mic stand, and throwing fits. Among the hits on the set list were  “Passenger,” “TV Eye,” “1969,” “Search and Destroy,” and “Real Wild Child.”

Iggy drops down to his knees, he jumps into the pit, he slaps the stage with a special belt and does these jumpy, wriggly athletics for people in the crowd simultaneously laughing and captivated in adoration.

Desert Daze continues Sunday with Eagles of Death Metal, Segall’s Goggs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Cigarettes After Sex, and Spiritualized.

Keep an eye out for the California Rocker fanzine!
Keep an eye out for the California Rocker fanzine!