Review: Third Time's A Charm For Houston's Day For Night Festival

Featuring performances from Nine Inch Nails, Solange, Thom Yorke + more!

By Taylor Irwin - Dec 22, 2017
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Houston's Day For Night Music and Arts festival official review. December 15-17 saw performances from Nine Inch Nails, Tyler, The Creator, Solange, Thom Yorke, Princess Nokia, Pussy Riot, Nina Kravis, Justice, and more! Featuring performances from Nine Inch Nails, Solange, Thom Yorke + more!

Music, culture, and digital art worlds collided in Houston last weekend for what has become one of the most eclectic festivals of the year. While the first and second installments of Day For Night were en pointe, the curators and organizers ironed out any kinks that remained this year, turning the venue—Barbara Jordan Post Office—into a utopian space for sensorial experiences to run rampant. Littered with fog machines, lasers, and projection art galore, this sprawling industrial landmark served as home base for attendees—a welcomed, multi-faceted oasis for them to retreat to in-between catching sets from the weekend's 60+ performers.

Photo by Ryan Vestil

In fact, every inch of the indoor-outdoor space's 1.5 million square feet was meticulously mapped out to keep festival-goers engaged from the moment they stepped foot onto the grounds. In addition to the four well-positioned stages onsite, fans had the opportunity to interact with countless breathtaking art installations from world-renowned designers like Ryoki Ikeda, Matthew Schreiber, VT Pro, Hovver, and Ekene Ijeoma.

Light Leaks by Kyle McDonald + Jonas Jongejan. Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Ricochet by Matthew Schreiber. Photo by Ryan Vestil
Jazz Trio Live Performance. Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

It's DFN's refusal to adhere to the played out, cookie-cutter festival structure that keeps culture enthusiasts coming back year after year. Going rogue since its inception, the three-day celebration of light, technology, sound, and space strays from adding performers to its bill who've made their rounds earlier in the year, focusing rather on acts known for their visually striking live performances.

Whether it was headliners like Justice and Thom Yorke, or earlier slots filled by avant-garde tastemakers such as Pussy Riot and Of Montreal, colorful experimentalism seemed to be the theme of the weekend. The manifestation of that? Solange's inventive and choreographed hometown show on Sunday, which from start to finish represented everything that Day For Night stands for: bold design, powerful delivery, and fearless messaging, topped with a dash of H-Town pride.

Other highlights from the weekend? James Blake's tearjerking performance, Nine Inch Nails reminding us that they're still a powerhouse, Princess Nokia's closing feminist rant, Tyler, The Creator's epic rain dance, En Vogue's colorful reunion, and The Jesus Lizard proclaiming that their Sunday set would be their last ever.

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

After a tumultuous 2017 where nearly every news headline felt Onion-esque, Day For Night was a refreshing way to wrap up the year—a place where likeminded music lovers could come together by interacting with the world around them.

Check out the photos from the stellar weekend below, then make sure to Track the artists on Bandsintown to stay-up-to date with all their touring news!

SATURDAY

Princess Nokia

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Of Montreal

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Perfume Genius

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Lil B

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Pussy Riot

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

HoodCelebrityy

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Cardi B

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

James Blake

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Nine Inch Nails

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Tyler, The Creator

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
 

SUNDAY

Saro

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Priests

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

The Album Leaf

Photo by Ryan Vestil

En Vogue

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Phantogram

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Solange

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

The Jesus Lizard

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

Justice

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil

St. Vincent

Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
Photo by Ryan Vestil
 
Taylor Irwin

I spent my first allowance on a TLC 'Waterfalls' cassette and have been a different version of David Bowie for Halloween the past five years. Golden rule: You can never have too many tacos in a single 24-hour period.

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