Written and Photographed by Oscar Moreno
The coexistence of art and music has become an increasingly common attribute of today’s music festivals. Slowly but surely, we are met with more and more enamoring installations and monolithic monuments erected on the grounds of Coachella and Lollapalooza, or elaborately costumed-showgoers flooding the grounds at ACL. But there’s one particular festival whose specific purpose is to bring music and conventional artistry together both harmoniously and curated with the utmost regard – Houston’s Day for Night.
Exhibits by world renowned creators Ryoki Ikeda, Kyle McDonald, Matthew Schreiber, VT Pro, Cocolab among many other innovative installation artists illuminated the dark corners and all the space in between of the old post office building in the heart of the city. Flowing seamlessly from edge to edge, it was as though the fest framed no specific centerpiece or main attraction; as if the event was to be viewed in its entirety as a massive, collaborative unification of every artist involved. Each installation was masterfully crafted to awe-inspiring perfection, particularly popular being the experience of laying under Matthew Schreiber’s Ricochet as well as the incredible Light Leaks, a collaboration between Kyle McDonald and Jonas Jongejan that was, for lack of a better phrase, ethereally transcendent.
Perfectly on par with the exhibitions was the incredible musical lineup which included Thom Yorke, Nine Inch Nails, Phantogram, Tyler, The Creator, Pussy Riot, Justice and many more. A performance worth particular mention was that of Shlohmo who put on an absolutely unforgettable set despite being faced with a few minor technical difficulties in the start. He quickly managed to unite the crowd into one mesmerized, swaying entity in the flow of the dreamy cadence for which he is loved.
San Antonio’s House of KENZO used DfN for their festival debut, which was a site to behold as the eccentric dancers went as far as to climb the stage light rails and toss merch from an HEB hand basket. St Vincent captivated the crowd as she performed material from her latest album MASSEDUCTION and paired the performance with breathtaking aesthetics that only the mind of Annie Clark could conceive. On the Yellow stage, B L A C K I E brought out a dormant rage within us all as the audience moshed and crowdsurfed in the presence of the one-man performer lording above on the circular stage. Justice truly brought the stage to life as the hundreds of light fixtures worked in unison to create an indescribable visual accompaniment. Finally, Thom Yorke had the blue stage packed to the brim with his remarkably passionate performance consisting of material from both Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes and The Eraser.
“We’re not gonna let a little rain stop us,” said Reznor as the horde of fans writhed and roared in the red-glowing downpour during Nine Inch Nail’s ‘March of the Pigs’. The weather was met with a warm “Fuck You Harvey” attitude that pervaded the grounds as the city is still in a state of recovery from the hurricane strike earlier in August. The resilience, perseverance and passion for artistry among the people of Houston is ineffable, as Day for Night proved once again to be one of the finest, most meticulously curated festivals in the nation.
Enjoy the full image collection of the event below. Follow Oscar on Instagram for more great live shots.