This weekend was a blast! DesertFest Berlin kicked ass!
Psychedelic extravaganza by Samsara Blues Experiment. Surprisingly I really dug Pentagram, Liebling is in top shape (well, maybe not mentally but physically) and Lonely Kamel from Norway with some heavy-drunk-and-stoned-blues.
Also I really enjoyed a brief talk with Lupus and Tiger from Kadavar, who told me, that Mammut (bass) decided to leave the band and is replaced by the former Aqua Nebula Oscilliator bass-player.
Lowrider, Dozer AND Unida doing comebacks after years of hiatus. While Dozer didn’t really thrill me (they didn’t play “Lightyears Ahead”, man), Lowrider and Unida delivered! Garcia’s voice sounded way better than last year, when I saw Kyuss Lives!. Back then I was in the moshpit and Unida got me into that state again! After that Belzebong from Poland soothed me with some heavy instrumental stoner-doom.
I came early to see the very first band 1000mods from Greece. I love their LP and the crowd was going crazy at 3pm! After that I waited for the Legends of Desert Yawning Man & Fatso Jetson to arrive and just when I went to the merch-tables, Tony Tornay and Mario Lalli walked by with their merchandise. Later I talked with Larry and Dino Lalli before finally finding Alfredo Hernandez. They signed my split-vinyl (which is awesome by the way) and talking to your favourite musicians is the second best thing in the world (after seeing them play live). At some point Gary came out of the artist-section to get Alfredo for the sound-check. We talked a bit as well and he even remembered my request to bring some of the old Yawning Man shirts to Europe, which they did!
Well, I watched their set from the front row. 80 minutes for both bands was waaay to short and they even had to switch the drumset in between. The Fatso Set was nice, but they didn’t play enough off “Cruel & Delicious” and “Flames for All” for my taste. The first 3 songs consisted of the new material plus Rock Formations. Unfortunately Gary’s guitar was barely audible due to technical issues, also Mario’s bass amp broke down at one point. After that difficulties were solved they only had time to play Stoney Lonesome (one of my favourites!), Sand Whip and Manolete (which is also a favourite, but Mario didn’t quite reach Billy Cordell here). After the set Alfredo gave his torn and signed stick to me (pic.)!
Then I had to hurry to the foyer-stage where My Sleeping Karma were about to get going. When they did, I almost shat myself. I love the “Soma”-LP, but building their psychedlic scapes live is indescribable. The crowd went absolutely nuts after Ephedra and I just got into a trance-like state, which was ended way too soon after 50 minutes. This 50 minute-gig was the best show of my life, which caught me completely off-guarded after the slightly disappointing set from Yawning Man. But I had to get a beer and head back to the mainstage to see Kadavar. Their set was awesome too and they played my favourite track Eye of the Storm, but nothing could really astonish me after My Sleeping Karma. After that I skipped Troubled Horse and Orchid to watch the My Sleeping Karma Tour Video and a documentary about the European stoner-rock scene. Both movies were interesting and the latter featured appearences by The Machine, Sungrazer, Baby Woodrose, Glowsun and many, many more.
Short: It was one of the best weekends of my life and I had a great time talking to my favourite musicians, listening to them play live and just catching the desert vibe in good ol’ Germany. I can’t think of a reason that could keep me from coming back next year.