By: Amanda Martinek

Deep on Highway 62, past Yucca Valley, past Joshua Tree, past Twentynine Palms, is a tiny desert town called Wonder Valley. The population is estimated to be 4,000 people. It receives virtually no rain, contains several abandoned structures on square lots, one church, a book store, a few mail boxes, and a magical oasis bar/restaurant called “The Palms”. And last Saturday, The Palms probably saw more people than it has since last year’s festival.

Drawing a sizable crowd of LA hipsters, San Diego scensters and Wonder Valley desert rats, Deserted at the Palms is another off-the-grid style oasis that spouted up in recent years to combat the mega-commercialization of music festivals like Coachella. There was limited to no security, no rules, $3 Bloody Mary’s, smiles, hugs, music, drugs and absolute freedom.

One of the earlier daytime bands was the incredible, amazing band out of Los Angeles, Kim & The Created. They have been heavy on the show and festival circuit in 2015, playing up and down Southern California and beyond. Front-woman Kim flings and crawls and screams and hangs and stares crowd members so deeply in the eyes, they forget who they are. If you haven’t seen them perform yet, do yourself the honor.

Another band hailing from Los Angeles was dirty, loud, rock & rollers called Zig Zags. The three-piece reminded me what rock and roll really sounds like, waving their long hair around and singing songs called “My Lighter” about when someone steals your lighter. Poetry for my soul.

The daytime haze and heat set along with the sun and night time at Deserted At The Palms unleashed a new standard of no rules. Sipping on $3 Bloody Mary’s for several hours now, the crowd got their second wind and the party really began. Legendary Los Angeles noise-band No Age trekked all the way to Wonder Valley, with a young baby in tow, to blow everyone’s mind.

And lastly, the absolutely legendary rock & roller King Tuff closed out the night, casting Black Moon Spell’s under the light of the full moon and closing out a magical day in a magical place with some truly magical energy.

How can you beat a view like this? Thanks Deserted At The Palms, 2015. Hope to see all you freaky desert rats back in Wonder Valley next year.