This past weekend (Dec. 17-18, 2016) was the second incarnation of Day For Night in our great city of Houston. What follows is solely this humble DJ’s takeaway from the festival. Upon arriving for the VIP Friday night to get a lay of the land, the building choice was delightfully odd for a music festival. Walking inside the post-office building brought feelings of old school raves in abandoned warehouses. And when the freezing hell came through, the inside warmth was a huge relief. The wide variety of multi-media experiences was spectacular, from lights to fur and the crown jewel of Bjork Digital. I will not delve into details of Bjork Digital the exhibit to keep it fresh for people yet to experience. What I can say is that the virtual reality experience was a full body experience worth waiting for.
Saturday there could not have been a better kick off than Welcome To Houston. The fact that members of the collective, such as Paul Wall, were at the merch table ready to make photo and autograph dreams come true was admirable. Blood Orange brought the sexy, Daughters had the bashing, Oneohtrix Point Never had the strange, Odesza the dancing, any flavor of music was at your disposal (JOHN CARPENTER ANYONE?!?!). The grand daddy though was Aphex Twin, with his first show in the United States since Coachella 2008 (where he had a 500 limited pressed 12 inch that collectors are going bonkers over). The drastic cold drop and rain wasn’t enough to quell the dancers for this god of electronic music. The visuals also had an incredible local flair, with Aphex Twin providing his visual quirkiness on the Houston Texans, Mayor Turner, and other politicians. The sickness I am recovering from that night was certainly well worth it.
Sunday there were many performances worth catching (Ariel Pink, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Lightning Bolt, Sqaurepusher, RZA, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Butthole Surfers, Sophie, Bjork, and Houstonian Travis Scott). Yet personally one performance stood out above the rest, jazz legend in the making Kamasi Washington. When the lineup was initially announced, noticing Thundercat and Kamasi Washington on the bill I was curious if they would play with each other (Them Changes anyone?!?). Thundercat played during Kamasi’s set in its entirety to the delight of music fans everywhere. His bass solos were out of this world, certainly looking forward to his return to Houston at Warehouse Live in March 2017.
What can I say about the worth of Day For Night? OF COURSE IT’S WORTH IT. You don’t have to take my word on it, there are countless articles that echo the sentiment from publications large and small. For those saying it was too expensive, volunteer opportunities existed to attend. The art installations has inspired future artists and the solid turn out on the Yellow stage for regional artists has inspired musicians to push themselves further. Hell, I need to get my performance chops back up to snuff. Day For Night 2017 I’m coming for ya!