Desertfest Berlin 2019: Another day at the desert

Second day of Desertfest started with two bands from the USA’s rock team. East coast’s Mirror Queen blasted energy from within the arena while West coast’s R.I.P energized the boat venue by their street doom.

Next in line were Lucidvox, Moscows’s four piece, all girl powered psychedelic rock crew. While they enchanted the crowds from inside the arena, Los Angeles’ rockers Zig Zags rocked the boat venue.

First part of this day’s arena line-up was closed by Swedish Hällas followed by Los Angeles’ rockers and Desertfest veterans The Shrine.

As the boat venue cleared, everyone poured to the Arena to beckon at the praised Greek hard psychedelic rockers Naxatras. Their psychedelic ritual began with a layer of instrumental tunes before joining in with their lyrical incantations. It seemed the short breaks were painful as the crowed yelled a couple of “Malaka”s.

As Naxatras finished their set, a huge Greenleaf backdrop with it’s smoking three eyed cat appeared across the stage. Sound check and final preparations took forever and it seemed that they might never start. While the sound engineers were setting up the monitors, Arvid Hällagård checked his levels with a couple of bluesy vocal lines which hinted of what’s to come. Soon they stood still, hinted and blasted their noise which infused them with massive energy. A hard contrast to a calm and almost gentlemanly swings of Naxatras, Greenleaf were out to fight and the stillness and silence were their enemy.

Last night’s performer Nick Olivieri took boat stage as the last non-DJ performer of that stage. Main arena was waiting for Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo psychedelic crew. A passerby might wander if he had timetravelled back to the 70s seeing the band’s outfits as well as Ryu’s Sitar. They offered a nice break from the bombastic Greenleaf show with their psychedelic and sometimes atmospheric tunes. As the show ended one could read the happiness from the band’s faces as they successfully entranced, as it looks like, their  first Berlin crowd.

The crowd filled the Arena in anticipation of this night’s headliner and stoner rock veterans, Fu Manchu. Without the long soundcheck the band appeared on stage. With a short greeting they opened with Squash the fly followed with Clone of the universe and Evil eye. Greyhaired Scott Hill and his transparent guitar swayed and headbanged all over the stage together with Brad Davis. Crowd followed with immediate mosh pit and crowdsurfs. Headbanging hits like Hell on wheels, I can’t hear you, Push the button magic, Dimension Shifter, Laserblast, Cyclone launch, Mongoose, Pigeon toe, Boogie van, King of the road and Saturn III followed. Scott politely thanked the audience for rocking during each of the songs. The set ended but they were pulled back by the crowds cheer with one more song. As the crowed yelled GODZILLA, they rocked their atomic monster song as this day’s closing tune.

Author & Photo: Nikola Medarević

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Gallery | DesertFest Berlin, May 4 2019