The Desert Sessions

Coachella Music Festival

May 01, 2004

The Desert Sessions made their live debut at Coachella Saturday afternoon at an outside stage. The side project from Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme compiled extremely talented musicians to make eclectic rock music.

The highly enjoyable set ranged from the bulldozer thrash of "Covered in Punk's Blood" to the beautiful yet ironic soul ballad "I Wanna Make It Wit Chu." Joining Homme onstage were guitarists Dave Catching, Twiggy Ramirez, and Troy Van Leeuwen, drummer Joey Castillo, bassist J. Ho, and vocalists Alain Johannes and Natasha Shneider. The guys rehearsed for five days in Joshua Tree, CA before the show.

"Dead in Love" was an atmospheric stoner rock anthem sung by Johannes that could be off the next QOTSA album. The songs came from a scary, weird, and exquisite place. Somewhere between hopelessness and seeing the sunlight after quitting drugs. One song had Eastern-style guitars, tribal drums, and chanting that created such an ethereal feeling that transcendence was inevitable. Catching was on tambourine, and Homme played drums for one song. The highlight of the set was "Hanging Tree." Mark Lanegan graced the audience with his grungy vocals, dark countenance and aura for the heavy song that personified dry, desert air.

So, what's left to do? Go get the albums and hope this group gets together again.

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