My brother and I arrived at Desert Generator the happiest of campers. After getting stuck in the mud on a failed camping trip in the mountains, by morning we were lucky enough to have eked out of the sludge and make our way to Pioneertown to see the custom vans and groovy bands of the Desert Generator Festival.
Strolling along the van show site (sponsored by Rolling Heavy Magazine) and observing the vintage 70’s style vans put all the masses of metal fans in the right frame of mind. Everything from detailed acid-trip paint jobs to shag carpet interiors were in abundance and felt like a true flashback to the 70s. After hours of observing the cool vans and enjoying the great vibes, everyone grew more and more excited for what was to come.
It was now late afternoon, and Papi and Harriet’s outdoor stage was nicely set up and ready to bring the noise. First up was Ecstatic Vision. The Philly-based band sent the crowd on a heavy psychedelic trip and never slowed down. As Kevin Nickles jammed away on his sax and flute, the sun still peaked out through the clouds and provided the perfect backdrop for the band’s mind-bending sound.
Up next was Golden Void. These bay area rock and rollers shared pleasurable jams that were precise and easygoing. Golden Void, the smoothest of all the bands, lulled in all the straggling fans and played a rich and comforting sound while the sun started to set in the high desert.
Then, like a firm punch to the gut, Acid King made their presence known in the darkness that overcame Pioneertown. The three piece brought the doom to the desert. Riff after heavy riff shook the packed sand loose beneath our feet as the crowd headbanged in unison to their massive and steady wall of sound.
Brant Bjork (the founder of the festival) and the Low Desert Punk Band cruised onto the stage after Acid King. Simply put, Bjork brought the groove to the fans just as he’s done in his earlier work with the legendary California rock acts Kyuss, Mondo Generator, and Fu Manchu. There was no shortage of dancing in the crowd and the fans in the pit bounced around to the beat. Brant Bjork and co. spread the good vibes all around and set the stage for the headliner to take over.
Red Fang unleashed their wild and catchy jams into the desert landscape and the mob of metalheads took it all in stride. As soon as the first riff from “Dirt Wizard” was played, the pit thrashed about and never stopped for a moment’s rest. They introduced new songs off their upcoming album as well as former hits like “Wires,” “Blood like Cream,” “Into the Eye,” and the pummeling fan favorite, “Prehistoric Dog.” The raging audience stomped and headbanged the night away after a fun and eventful day in Pioneertown. The vans, bands, and passionate mixture of fans made Desert Generator a hell of a good time. Rolling Heavy Magazine, Allnight, Allnight, Brant Bjork, and the rest of the bands proved to music fans everywhere that the Coachella festival isn’t the only fun to be had in the Californian desert.
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