John Gist raises awareness of loud, underground rock with his Planet Desert Rock festival

John Garcia (third from left) headlines this weekend’s Planet Desert Rock fest.
Ian Caramanzana

John Gist is spearheading a Las Vegas music festival that, at the time of writing, has sold more tickets to non-residents than locals. That’s not surprising, but the Vegas Rock Revolution talent buyer and promoter nonetheless hopes his Planet Desert Rock festival introduces Las Vegans to lesser-known heavy rock with a Pandora’s Box-esque offering of bands. The three-day, three-venue event will feature performances by John Garcia of defunct stoner-rock pioneers Kyuss, doom metal pioneer Scott “Wino” Weinrich, psych-rock giants Wo Fat and more.

“The truth is, rock music—at least the stuff that’s often played on the radio—has lost its soul,” Gist says. “There’s a whole world of great stuff just waiting to be discovered under the surface, and I hope to shed some light on that with my shows and this festival.”

Garcia serves as headliner for the mixed bill. It’s a rare showing for the reclusive vocalist/songwriter, who is currently gearing up for a self-titled release from his project, John Garcia and the Band of Gold. During his only engagement of the year, Garcia will be joined by other musicians with whom he has shared stages over the years, including former Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri. “This is rare, because half of Kyuss will be playing Kyuss songs,” Gist says. “It’s exciting.”

Planet Desert Rock will also include a solo set by Oliveri, and performances by Colorado desert rockers Luna Sol, veterans Valley of the Sun and other underground outfits on the heavy side of the rock ’n’ roll spectrum. “I just want the Vegas audience to give these bands a shot,” Gist says. “Some of these guys are legends, and they’re more than worthy of a listen.”

Planet Desert Rock November 29, 7 p.m., $45, Vinyl. November 30, 6 p.m., $20-$50, Bunkhouse Saloon. December 1, 6 p.m., $50, Beauty Bar.

Tags: Music
  • Country pop superstar Shania Twain, the first and only woman to receive CMT’s Artist of a Lifetime Award and the recent recipient of Billboard’s Icon ...

  • It must have been intimidating for Thundercat—then a teenager—to be in the room with the gravitational force that is Erykah Badu.

  • Like a frozen margarita served poolside, “Don’t Sleep” is funky, refreshing and perfect for summer days.

  • Get More Music Stories
Top of Story