Concerts

The Five Best Acts At Day For Night 2017

Day For Night brought plenty of splendid memories in year three.
Day For Night brought plenty of splendid memories in year three. Photo by Julian Bajsel

Another Day For Night has come and gone and already I find myself blown away by all of the amazing performances and art installations I was lucky enough to experience. In years past, the festival has accumulated a stellar lineup of artists and musicians, and this year was no different. From the Friday summit to the closing hours of the festival, below are the five best things I saw at this year's festival.

click to enlarge LIMB dropped fire for the second year in a row at Day For Night. - PHOTO BY JEROMY BARBER
LIMB dropped fire for the second year in a row at Day For Night.
Photo by Jeromy Barber
On Friday night there wasn't as much to see as last year, as many of the art installations upstairs were still getting final touches, and were off limits to those in attendance. While there were plenty of acts to perform, and I was allowed a line cut to catch the insane robotic installation from VT Pro, the music is what was on point. While Earl Sweatshirt brought his usual rhyme skills, and Jenny Hval performed admirably; it was Houston's LIMB who stole the show for the second year in a row The last minute set, taking place on the yellow stage, was a welcomed addition to the Friday schedule. Performing in a circle again, much like last year's OCTA set, LIMB brought plenty of energy and crazed break beats to his intense performance. With multiple screens offering glitch visuals of his performance surrounding him, the set was what the producer has become known for; something completely different from what everyone else is doing around town.

click to enlarge Pussy Riot surprised everyone with their high energy set. - PHOTO BY ROGER HO
Pussy Riot surprised everyone with their high energy set.
Photo by Roger Ho
On Saturday there was more than enough to impress those in attendance. However, while Perfume Genius sounded great, Pussy Riot was the most entertaining of the day. Not knowing what to expect, and not being sure if they'd perform the punk that they became known for or closer to the sound of their latest single, "Police State," the group's high energy set not only impressed me and Houston's Guilla; but it was the most talked about set of the day. Starting off donning their signature balaclavas, the collective members jumped around, danced, performed in sync with one another, all while keeping the political leanings of their music in your face without making you choke on their themes. With videos that made fun of our dumpster fire of a president while throwing up themes against white pride and nationalism, Pussy Riot proved that they could give us the message while still having fun with us at the same time.

click to enlarge B L A C K I E proved that no room could hold him at the festival. - PHOTO BY ROGER HO
B L A C K I E proved that no room could hold him at the festival.
Photo by Roger Ho
Another set on Saturday that was insane, was Houston's B L A C K I E at the yellow stage, making his performance the third best act I saw. The smallest space of the four stages, in a circle as designed would prove difficult for any performer who doesn't like a confined space. But as quickly as he began, B L A C K I E not only climbed atop the round staging and performed like a phoenix rising from the flames, but he jumped into the crowd to play songs from this year's Remains while a rowdy pit encircled him making it the most energetic set of the day.


click to enlarge Nine Inch Nails played a pretty epic set at Day For Night. - PHOTO BY ROGER HO
Nine Inch Nails played a pretty epic set at Day For Night.
Photo by Roger Ho
While Tyler, the Creator was full of fun antics, and Jlin brought plenty of dance heavy grooves, it was B L A C K I E who proved that no matter what space he was in, he could not be confined. Nine Inch Nails definitely sounded great and had plenty of intensity as well, but the rain made the set difficult to watch when you're planning to be on site another three hours.

click to enlarge The Jesus Lizard proved that age is nothing but a number. - PHOTO BY CHAD WADSWORTH
The Jesus Lizard proved that age is nothing but a number.
Photo by Chad Wadsworth
There was plenty of acts worth making it out for on Sunday, so much so that scheduling everything was a little harder than on Saturday. However, that being said, it was hard to deny that The Jesus Lizard was the best act on Sunday, hands down. Starting with fan favorite "Puss" from their album Liar, the four piece held their own from start to finish, while lead singer David Yow quickly started the show off on the shoulders of those in front of the stage.

click to enlarge David Yow of The Jesus Lizard reclaimed the band's early years at Day For Night. - PHOTO BY CHAD WADSWORTH
David Yow of The Jesus Lizard reclaimed the band's early years at Day For Night.
Photo by Chad Wadsworth
It would be one thing if Yow only went into the audience for one song, but again and again he spent time off of the stage and in the audience, easily making them my fourth favorite act of the festival. Sometimes in the VIP area, sometimes in the photo pit, or just in the audience, Yow and the rest of the band performed like they did in the nineties like no time had passed between then and now.

click to enlarge Justice proved fast that they came to Houston to party. - PHOTO BY SARA MARJORIE STRICK
Justice proved fast that they came to Houston to party.
Photo by Sara Marjorie Strick
The fifth and final amazing act of the festival, was definitely France's Justice. The duo never seemed to let up from their opening to the closing notes. For starters, they had an insane light rig that moved with pretty much every song. Secondly, they dropped straight dance bangers throughout their whole performance. It was like the biggest club show you've ever seen.


click to enlarge Justice had no problem wowing everyone who caught their set at Day For Night. - PHOTO BY JULIAN BAJSEL
Justice had no problem wowing everyone who caught their set at Day For Night.
Photo by Julian Bajsel
Justice literally had no equal as far as production quality goes. While Rezz started the day strong, Solange brought elegance to the festival, and Thom Yorke had a pretty bonkers set to close things out; it was Justice who dropped the hammer without anyone else to pick it back up.

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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.