My weekend stay in Houston was hell. While I was driving on the highway, a rock flew up and smashed my sunroof glass, I almost hit a ladder that was in the middle of the highway, and one of my tires turned into shreds.
This did’t happen all at the same time though, luckily.
But despite all of this, Day For Night kicked off tremendously. I don’t believe I’ve ever had that much fun covering a festival before. They really treated the media well and everything felt like it was running smoothly.
The art installations were everywhere to be found and didn’t lack in quality. My favorite, probably like most attendees, was The Infinity Room.
The Infinity Room by Refik Anadol is a very unique concept into how we perceive our world or environment. Stepping into it, I got a slight rush of fear because my brain thought it was falling into an abyss. This room was beautiful and I recommend you to step inside if it ever comes to a city near you.
Day For Night didn’t fall short of performers – with a lineup consisting of Kendrick Lamar, Death Grips, Janelle Monae, New Order, Flying Lotus, and Dillon Francis to name a few. This was one impressive lineup considering this was Day For Nights first year.
Janelle Monae put on a great performance as you would expect. I attempted to snag a Polaroid shot of her backstage but she wasn’t having it and wasn’t having it for the rest of the night – at least I tried, right?
But I did end up getting one during her set.
Now my favorite set of the festival was Death Grips.
I have been a huge fan of Death Grips since about 2011 when I first heard their track “Guillotine” while laying on a friends couch. It was the weirdest thing I had ever heard and I was hooked. I couldn’t stop thinking about it then and i haven’t stopped ever since.
Their set was hype beyond control – the power of MC Ride’s voice mixed with the electronic symphony of Andy morin backed with the clashing sounds of Zach Hills drums was the perfect cocktail of music.
I will never forget this set.
Now after Dillon Francis pulled a no-show for our interview, I bolted to the green stage to catch his set. I wasn’t surprised by him not showing up, I mean it’s Dillon Francis after all – you never know what to expect.
You could feel all of the love his fans have for him, it filled the entire studio. I personally haven’t been to a Dillon show since his 2012 “Wurld Turr” with Flosstradamus and it has been interesting to see how his music has changed and developed.
Now, we’re at Kendrick Lamar.
Kendrick has had a huge come up and he deserves all of it. The main stage was packed to the brim with people coming to pay their respects and show their love. It was as if half the city of Houston came out to see him.
He put on one hell of a show and even invited Corporate Dough, a white rapper, onto stage to rap over “maD cITY” and he absolutely killed it with a freestyle.
Before Flying Lotus was set to perform, I decided to take a quick break and grab some water. I went backstage and instead of going to the media trailer, I had this strong feeling to go to the catering area instead so I followed it. I grab my water, start to drink, and then turned my head to the left of me. There were dressing rooms setup in the catering area and when I turned to left, someone stepped out of one.
It was the legend himself, Bun B of UGK.
I almost choked on my water! I put my drink down and nervously approached him. I politely ask if it’s okay for me to take his photograph and he agrees. We step into his dressing room where his family and friends are and I start to feel the pressure. My hands are shaky, my voice is being weird, and it’s abnormally hot. Bun poses for me, I take the photo and nervously ask for him to sign it(It’s an instant film camera). He then proceeds to ask if I can take a picture of him and his wife so I agree. I notice that my lens cap is on and I don’t remember putting it back on after the first photo but I shrug it off and take his photo again. I leave the tent and start hyperventilating because of what just happened.
I take the photo out of my back pocket and it’s blank!
I don’t remember putting the lens cap back on the camera after the first photo because I never took it off to begin with! I start freaking out and beating myself up over it because that was a once in a lifetime moment for me. I wait around the tent still hoping he comes out again because there’s no way I’m just going to walk back into his tent. Thankfully, one of his friends comes out and I explain what happened and he takes me back in. Bun B was so kind as to let me redo the photo and sign it all over again. Here he is, dabbing like no other in a Christmas sweater.
Flying Lotus was a difficult set to shoot. Having never photographed FlyLo before, I had no idea that he puts a massive screen in from of him with visuals. So I had to find another way to capture photos of him that no one else would have. I made my way backstage and wandered around for a minute until I found a ramp leading up to the stage. I saw an opportunity and I took it, I mean, who wouldn’t?
This is what I got.
Here are some other honorable mentions from the festival.
I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store.