Day for Night is the epitome of an overnight success. The festival, a sort of music-visual art hybrid, debuted last year to rave reviews; it was even named Best Festival by Houston Press readers. It featured the likes of Kendrick Lamar and New Order and was generally viewed as a resounding success. As much was evident from this year’s Day for Night lineup, which featured Aphex Twin’s first U.S. gig in nearly a decade (the show was apparently a hit). Other wish-list names this year crossed off include Run the Jewels, Bjork, Travis Scott, and Butthole Surfers.
So yeah, Day for Night has officially arrived as a major player on the festival scene, which means next year’s incarnation should be an even bigger deal. A bigger festival means bigger, more noteworthy acts (just ask Austin City Limits Music Festival), so here are some artists to consider. Yes, some of these are a bit more realistic than others.
Day for Night is a festival tailored to artsy rock types, and no rock band going perhaps better defines artsy rock as this Baltimore-based quartet. Some have labeled Animal Collective an experimental pop outfit, and that seems about right. Point being, they will play well to the Day for Night crowd, one that appreciates artists who don’t exactly adhere to convention.
DJ Windows 98 was among the many artists playing Day for Night this year; of course, that just so happens to be solo stage name for Win Butler, frontman for Grammy-winning indie band Arcade Fire. Butler, a Houston-area native, obviously appreciates what the festival is doing. But does he appreciate it enough to round up his gang of multiplatinum-selling bandmates to do a headlining gig?
CHANCE THE RAPPER
Kendrick Lamar was a big hit at the inaugural Day for Night, and with Run the Jewels and Travis Scott playing the sophomore year, Day for Night is a festival that obviously appreciates hip-hop. Why not invite one of the biggest — and perhaps the most respected — names in mainstream hip-hop out there right now? Chance played before a sold-out crowd at Revention Music Center in October, so his drawing power is unquestioned. Nor is his critical standing, what with near-universal praise for his latest mixtape, Coloring Book.
Donald Glover (stage name Childish Gambino) is on an absolute hot streak. His new TV show, Atlanta, ranked among the best new shows of 2016. He appeared in films like The Martian and will appear in the next Spider-Man movie. And his latest album, Awaken, My Love!, was not only well-received critically, but marked Glover’s highest-charting album to date. This is a no-brainer if Glover’s scheduling allows.
With the huge Aphex Twin "get" now in the books, it’s fair to say Day for Night is a hotbed for the dance/EDM community. Why not lock down one of the hottest electronic acts in the world, one whose stage show blends perfectly with Day for Night’s music-makes-love-to-art hybrid model?
Comprised of members Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire, this supergroup of sorts covers a number of genres, including house music and reggaeton. Between the three of them, there’s also enough name value to sell plenty of tickets, which, ultimately, is how festivals stay in business.
He’s not the commercial draw he was around the turn of the century, but Moby is a legend in the DJ community. While his headlining of Day for Night might not generate Aphex Twin-level buzz, it wouldn’t be far off. Of course, Moby doesn’t just occupy himself with music these days; he’s also a published author, avid photographer and is heavily involved in charity work. Hopefully, he can one day make time for a festival that would suit him perfectly.
Some bands just add instant credibility to the bill, and the Pixies – along with outfits like Sonic Youth and Pavement – are one of them. There was a time when any Pixies show was a pipe dream, but the band is playing regularly again, and have already booked a number of 2017 dates abroad supporting their latest album, Head Carrier. But they have nothing on the calendar after August, so perhaps a return to the States — and a date in Houston — is within the realm of possibility.
It will never happen, but wouldn’t it be cool if it did?
After Bjork and Aphex Twin played this year, anything seems possible for Day For Night. May as well see if Bjork wants to get the old gang back together; The Sugarcubes were a thing from 1986-1992. The group actually reunited last month for a one-off charity gig, so perhaps Day for Night can donate some of the proceeds to charity and see if the band goes for it.