Stars come out for Day N Night

Singer SZA takes the Postmates Stage Saturday afternoon, performing songs from her new album “Ctrl.” Anderson Haigler/The USD Vista

Lil Uzi Vert’s and Chance the Rapper’s performances shine in Anaheim

Angel Stadium usually hosts Major League Baseball games, but this weekend it played host to some of the biggest names in rap as Day N Night Fest came to Anaheim. Early Saturday, Day N Night began with a diverse lineup of up-and-coming artists as soon as the gates opened. But the festivities seemed to truly begin with Playboi Carti’s late afternoon set. 

Performing rousing renditions of his hit songs “Magnolia” and “wokeuplikethis*,” Carti set the table for singer SZA to take over on the Postmates Stage, the largest of three stages at the festival. SZA entered the stage to face what was the largest crowd of the day up to that point, a young group of festival-goers who seemed to be a mix between die-hard SZA fans and people pre-positioning themselves for a good vantage point of the next artist, Post Malone. SZA went on to perform a low-key, laid-back set that entertained the crowd. She capped off a selection of songs from her new album “Ctrl” with a performance of fan favorite “Love Galore.” 

As SZA gave way to Post Malone, the energy of the crowd shifted. For the first time on Saturday, the crowd appeared to be fully engaged with the artist on stage, and Malone did not disappoint. Leading off with an emotional performance of “Too Young,” he went on to perform hits like “Go Flex” and “Candy Paint,” finishing with his smash hit “Congratulations,” much to the delight of fans. 

As the sky above Angel Stadium grew darker, so did the vibe onstage. Lil Uzi Vert set the tone for his performance with sinister visuals that included burning crosses pictured on screen. Vert began his performance with newer tracks like “Sauce It Up,” and “The Way Life Goes,” and the energy in the crowd was tangible.

As his set progressed, Lil Uzi Vert electrified with performances of his early hits, including “Money Longer” and “You Was Right.” During his performance of “P’s & Q’s,” Vert executed an extended stage dive, working his way to the middle of the crowd while the track played and bringing the excitement to an all-time high. The crown jewel of Lil Uzi Vert’s set, however, was his performance of his grungy anthem, “XO TOUR Llif3.” He fervidly performed the song as the audience sang along in a crazed fashion not yet matched that day. 

Following the song’s conclusion, Lil Uzi Vert proceeded to throw his microphone into the backstage area and demand the track be played again, this time for only the fans to sing along as he watched microphone-less. The audience reacted enthusiastically, as they sang perhaps louder than before and demonstrated the sheer popularity of Lil Uzi Vert and his hit song.

Lil Uzi Vert raps among the crowd following his signature stage dive. Anderson Haigler/The USD Vista

True to its name, Day N Night Fest stretched into the late hours of Saturday. Chance The Rapper’s set did not begin until around 9:20 p.m., more than 40 minutes after Lil Uzi Vert left the stage. If Lil Uzi Vert brought a dark vibe to the stage, Chance The Rapper was a beacon of hope. Leading with bright visuals for a performance of “Angels,” Chance went on to run through an impressive tracklist: he covered almost all of his hits from his newest mixtape, “Coloring Book”, performing songs like “Juke Jam,” “All We Got,” “Mixtape,” and “No Problem.” Chance then performed his parts of songs from Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo”, providing emotional performances of “Ultralight Beam” and “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.” Both songs were set to visuals of the two rappers performing together, though West did not make an appearance. Chance also sang hits from his second mixtape, “Acid Rap,” performing songs like “Cocoa Butter Kisses” before closing with an extended performance of “Blessings.” At this moment, he engaged the crowd heavily during the gospel-like hit before taking a bow and leaving the stage. 

Fans excitedly awaited artists such as Playboi Carti and SZA to take the stage. Photo courtesy of Taylor Gonzalez

However, Chance wasn’t done yet, and the crowd seemed to know it. Amid chants of “one more song,” he returned to the stage for a sit-down, acoustic performance of “Same Drugs” before closing out his set for good. His set at times resembled a church sermon, featuring hands held high and heavy references to his faith, which was a stark departure from the woozy, drug-fueled sets of Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert. This, however, did not stop him from performing the most captivating set of the night. Chance brought the audience together by taking suggestions and it seemed that no other artist from Saturday had everyone singing along like he did. His performance was captivating, from his live band and his backup singers to his unmistakably raspy voice. Almost everyone seemed to leave with smiles on their faces. 

Chance provided an exciting end to what proved to be a star-studded day in Anaheim. From Playboi Carti to Post Malone, Day N Night Fest brought out the stars, and judging by the crowds, it is safe to say they were well-received and their iconic performances should keep fans satisfied until next year’s Day N Night Fest.
Anderson Haigler | Arts & Culture Editor | USD Vista