Desert Daze 2022: King Gizzard invigorates festival; Sky Ferriera is late to the party

Brian Blueskye
Palm Springs Desert Sun
View Comments

Seconds after Australian rock band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard started its headlining set Friday at Desert Daze, the crowd was invigorated as the band delivered an intense display of rock 'n' roll energy. 

The opening song "Gaia" from the 2022 album "Omnium Gatherum" had the audience at Lake Perris moshing, crowd surfing, bouncing around inflatable pool toys and splashing beer in the air.

Before opening the set, frontman Stu Mackenzie remembered the band's previous performances at the festival before they were headliners and how they were now headlining on the Moon stage. 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard performs at Desert Daze in Lake Perris, Calif., on September 30, 2022.

The band maintained its high energy through the whole set, delivering songs including "Planet B," "Hell" and the live debut of "Iron Lung."  

Since forming in 2010, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard has been known for mixing genres such as metal, rock, progressive rock, hip-hop and electronic music. The band typically releases several albums each year, with over 20 studio albums in its discography and an additional album due later this year. 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard is no stranger to festival crowds. The band performed late-night sets at the same intensity last April during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, in June. 

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard performs at Desert Daze in Lake Perris, Calif., on September 30, 2022.

The band mentioned Saturday night's headliner Tame Impala, telling the crowd, "you're going to love it" after hearing the fellow Aussie rockers rehearse down the hall in the same space last week in Burbank.  

During the final song, "The Dripping Tap," Mackenzie joined the audience and went crowd surfing.

MORE: Desert Daze founder looks back on then-Desert Hot Springs event ahead of 10th anniversary

Sky Ferreira lost track of time 

Every music festival needs its queen, and actress Sky Ferreira missed that opportunity on Friday at Desert Daze by arriving over 30 minutes late to her scheduled hour set during the early evening.

Even though the 20-minute performance was outstanding and Ferreira was superb, the mistake of starting late cost her what could have been one of the best sets of the festival. 

When Ferreira took the stage wearing a black trench coat with pants and a t-shirt to match, she explained her tardiness wasn’t intentional, but she lost track of time. She started strong with the 2013 song “Boys" and moved back and forth across the stage with a femme fatale vibe. 

Festivalgoers enjoy a performance by Cymande at Desert Daze in Lake Perris, Calif., on September 30, 2022.

Before the song “24 Hours,” Ferreira was overheard saying she was nervous and put on a pair of black sunglasses and dropped the trench coat. The third song was “Don’t Forget” — the first single from her anticipated second album, “Masochism,” which is due out by the end of the year.

Ferreira has appeared in movies such as Eli Roth’s 2013 horror film “The Green Inferno” and the 2018 biopic “Lords of Chaos,” about the Norwegian metal band Mayhem and the murder of its frontman, Euronymous. Her first album, “Night Time, My Time,” debuted at No. 45 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart in 2013.

Rory Culkin with Sky Ferreira in "Lords of Chaos."

After the fifth song of her set, Ferreira was told by her keyboardist they couldn’t continue and had to leave the stage, even as some fans chanted for one more song.

Perfume Genius performs at Desert Daze in Lake Perris, Calif., on September 30, 2022.

While King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard headlined the Moon stage, Perfume Genius (Michael Hadreas) closed out the Beach stage with a stunning and eclectic display of impulsive dance movements and cathartic release.

Hadreas described being overwhelmed by some of the visual displays and the overall aesthetic of the festival, but appeared delighted to be there. 

Other highlights included Los Angeles Latin rock band Chicano Batman covering Radiohead's 1992 hit "Creep," Algerian rock band Imarhan's afternoon set of Tuareg music at the Block stage and Psychedelic Porn Crumpet's high-powered early evening performance. 

Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment for the Desert Sun. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @bblueskye.

View Comments