The Day for Night festival brought together an array of musicians largely landing within the rock and EDM spectrum, performing against a backdrop of cutting-edge installation art. At the festival grounds—the Barbara Jordan Post Office in Houston, TX—attendees wandered through a room full of robotic mirrors, a hallway of lights that tracked their movements and a cage housing a mythic Icelandic monster. A few lucky guests immersed themselves in a VR installation by Björk after waiting in a line that stretched throughout the building.
Yesterday’s lineup featured 30 acts distributed throughout four stages, color coded as Red, Green, Blue and Yellow. Nick Murphy, formerly Chet Faker, filled the outdoor field with jazz-fused electronica on the Red Stage. DJ duo ODESZA made the crowd sway with a live trumpet, trombone and drums. Standout track from 2014’s In Return, “Say My Name,” started slow before reaching a climax that left everyone screaming to pre-recorded vocalist Zyra’s proclamation, “I want to dance with you.”
ODESZA at Day for Night
Next door, Scottish alt-rock legends The Jesus and Mary Chain weaved scuzzy lo-fi ‘80s and ‘90s noise pop with hits like “Far Gone And Out” and “Between Planets” as blue and red smoke filled the Green Stage. Dev Hynes’ project, Blood Orange, took over with beautiful harmonies and impressive footwork. After a set by DJ Windows 98 (aka Win Butler of The Arcade Fire), hip-hop pioneers Run the Jewels put on a high-energy show with a setlist spanning tracks from both of their self-titled albums, with high points “Run the Jewels” and “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” as Killer Mike joked about his trouble withstanding the Texan heat and humidity. Inside, filmmaker and composer John Carpenter’s cinematic set featured a compilation of movie death scenes.
The Jesus and Mary Chain at Day for Night
To close off the Red Stage’s lineup, experimental electronica icon Aphex Twin gave his first U.S. performance in eight years above a light show depicting objects dropping from the sky and the warped faces of politicians. Laser beams shot into the crowd, Aphex Twin’s signature face superimposed itself onto audience members like a twisted exhibition of Windowlicker and the music was appropriately futuristic. In addition to playing classics like “Polynomial-C,” he sampled songs including Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up.” Just as the wind picked up and rain poured, he mixed Edge Of Motion’s “Set Up 707.” The storm didn’t stop the headliner’s most loyal fans — it only added to the set’s otherworldly magic.
Aphex Twin at Day for Night