James Bagshaw of TEMPLES

Temples, Night Beats and fellow passengers of the caravan of wandering spirits from the arid plains of Joshua Tree LEVITATED at Belly Up last Sunday to an awe-struck audience of trippers and neo-flower children.

My first Desert Daze was a couple years back, where a group of amigos and I made the pilgrimage to Mecca, CA in the 115 degree summer daze of ’15.  We setup camp with ListenSD founder Rachel Frank (better known as “LSD Panda“) and were collectively blown away by performances from Kim & The Created, Dan Deacon and the local psych outfit Wild Wild Wets (*Singer Mikey, guitarist Taejon and artist Andrew McGranahan happened to be DJ-ing for this mystical evening at Belly Up).

JJUUJJUU satisfied the colorful, avant psych while Froth channeled the grungy chillwave of DIIV; which combined set the stage for the evening of expanding minds and blossoming desert lilies.

Annnnnd then the powerhouse, lady demons of rock ‘n mother fuckin roll, Deap Vally erupted onto the stage! Still flying high off their recent features in Rolling Stone and NME, Lindsey and Julie are a perfect mix of attitude, style and skill.  They played mostly tunes off their latest record “Femijism” and got the massive crowd pumping fists to their breakout single “Royal Jelly“.  Beyonce ain’t got nothing on these femme-lions, for they are the true Queen B’s of the desert.

This is the part of the Desert Daze Caravan where the drugs were really starting to kick in. Faces blurring, walls melting, smiles widening :)! Night Beats harnessed the collective haze and glaze of the crowd with their mesmerizing grooves and classic homage to garagey, R&B psych. Jakob Bowden was rotisserie-ing his bass (*shoutout to Corey for coining the term) while singer Danny Lee Blackwell howled to the pulsing, acid trip of a light show brought to you by the visual gurus in Moon Block.

To cap the evening, recently anointed priests of neo-psychedelia Temples coaxed the audience of Tame Impala dropouts to follow them down the rabbit hole into a different layer of psych that is more closely rooted in Zeppelin and Floyd then their predecessors.  Their new album “Volcano” just dropped and you can feel the excitement of a UK band that is playing many of these songs for the first time to a captivated American audience. The jaded haze of success hasn’t quite touched these songs yet, and it is truly a blessing to witness!