What an incredible weekend it was Desert Trip lived up to my expectations and more to say the least. Dylan opened the festival with Rainy Day Women “yes everybody must get stoned”. His set featured tracks from Highway 61. Unfortunately three songs into the set the video feed was lost and instead of seeing Mr. Dylan we were subjected to seeing video footage that was to be the backdrop to his stage performance. People were disappointed that he didn’t perform the classic hits, ‘nonetheless Dylan is Dylan and that’s all right ma.
After an hour intermission the Rolling Stones got the place rocking with Start Me Up and the greatest rock n roll band blew us away with some of their finest tracks. Midnight Rambler smoked, with Keith and Ronnie mixing up with dueling guitar riffs. You can’t always get what you want featured the USC choir. Street fighting Man, Jumpin Jack Flash, It’s only rock n roll, Brown Sugar, Gimme Shelter, Honky-tonk, Sympathy and “Come Together ” a Beatles cover. It was an awesome performance. Explosive high energy and so much fun.
Saturday Neil Young had a heart of Gold, a harvest moon his young band that featured two of Willie Nelson’s sons played with tight precision as the master electrified the crowd. Down By the River and Rocking in the Free World had Young attacking his Black Les Paul with fury that drove the audience to a state of Nirvana.
Sir Paul was truly amazing. Opening with love me do. Paying homage to John and George. His acoustic set featured Eleanor, Blackbird. We can work it out. Later he invited Neil Young up to join him in A Day in the life and what a turn on it was. Shear magic. With Neil and Paul on vocals. A performance for the ages. And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make . Beatlemania was alive and in sprit at magical mystery desert trip.
Sunday, started out with visit to the desert trip photo exhibit. The air conditioned tent was a nice relief. With my craft beer in hand I got to see some of the Greatest rock n roll photographs featuring desert trip artists. It was a wonderful exhibit. The Who were spectacular there their set list includes early classic like I can see for Miles, can’t explain, My Generation, cuts from Quadrophenia, Tommy, and Who’s Next. Their will never be another band quite like the Who. Roger Waters closed the evening with a tour de force of sound, visuals and performance. His staging was by far the most impressive of the weekend. A production that was a perfect setting. The flying pig hovered over the audience. On one side with the words United we stand divided we fall l in the other side Trump is a pig. Waters message was clear and most of the audience expressed there support.
Desert Trip was a once in the lifetime extraordinary event. The music that was created by these incredible artists will shine on forever. Rock they say is dead but long live rock.
Text by Jay Malla Maldonado – Photos by Carol Maldonado