From Friday, Oct. 10 to Sunday, Oct. 13, Lake Perris State Recreation Area transformed into the psychedelic haven of bum gypsies and groundbreaking musicians alike in an event known as Desert Daze. It was my first time experiencing the Daze so I had to go all out — full weekend passes, camping and everything. The silky smooth, folk-rock set by Faye Webster was the highlight of Friday. The day zoomed by; then, all of a sudden it was Saturday and the next thing I knew I was inhaling clouds of dust while moshing to “Whip It” by DEVO during their alleged last tour ever. While the festival and all its antics proved to be something of another world, I patiently waited for the last day which promised the arrival of Japanese psychedelic-rock legend Shintaro Sakamoto, who would be debuting in America. Come Sunday, I met up with DJ Clumsy Tung at the Block Stage and heard the news: Shintaro wasn’t performing.
Shintaro was not able to make it because of a typhoon in Japan that had been forcing airlines to cancel flights all weekend. While those few moments of agony and disbelief threw off the energy for a quick second, I did my best to not let the news bog down the remainder of the festival. The replacement act, English rock band Ride, didn’t help my spirits either. Their far-too loud set didn’t even acknowledge that they were filling in for Shintaro. They simply took the stage and went on with their set, acting like nothing happened which I assume must have really upset the fans of Shintaro who had not yet heard the news. Nonetheless, the festival made for a transformative and notable weekend.