The Museum of Fine Arts Houston’s Mixed Media Designed by IKEA event welcomed city-dwelling socialites to step out in style, enjoy local music and bask in the nightlife Friday at one of Houston’s most treasured institutions.
MFAH has recently resurged its lights, music and mixer series this year, which features DJs and live performances.
“The purpose of the Mixed Media events is to welcome great performers and late-night audiences to the MFAH and create a multi-sensory experience for the Houston community,” MFAH Director Gary Tinterow said in a press release.
The event honed a roster of performers, such as Houston’s own Wild Moccasins and Orthy of Austin. DJ sets by Ceeplus Bad Knives, Josh Dupont and Mr. Castillo were also featured.
The main level hall of the museum transformed into a stage set with purple lighting. Two bars sat on opposite sides of the room with a vast floor scattered with mini tables separating the two. The museum also added lounge-like ambiance to the occasion, courtesy of IKEA, who decorated the room with its bright chairs, patterned throw pillows and orange sofas.
It was clear that the event had no dress guidelines. Some male attendees wore blazers while others wore T-shirts and tennis shoes.
The freedom each person had in picking their own unique style for the event proved that having disparate styles packed into one place can make for an exciting people-watching experience.
The party area was quite crowded with people mingling in huddles, talking above a set from Ceeplus Bad Knives and another from Dupont, featuring some nu-disco picks and tech house.
The celestial pop act Orthy took the stage and played to a mostly inattentive crowd. Conversation proved to be the savory attraction throughout the majority of the band’s set.
Orthy played a set of immersive, muggy, syrupy songs. If reverb was already a component of the band’s sonic character, the museum’s acoustics gave an exaggerated effect that didn’t work in the band’s favor.
Mr. Castillo played a set of disco and new wave tracks that mixed seamlessly. The section of the crowd in front of the stage took to Mr. Castillo’s taste as they filled the entire dance floor and grooved the night away.
Wild Moccasins indie-pop sound brought fresh air to the hall. All five members cohesively played together through their nine-song set, which featured four new songs, one of which was the highlight of the performance.
In the new song, “Full Time Fetish,” lead singer Zahira Gutierrez’s voice adds warmth to a dark song seemingly absorbed best in the sociable throws of the night.
The aesthetic of the event certainly proved to be a sight to see when seeking out Houston’s nightlife. MFAH’s interior and furniture changes were welcoming, but they lacked in overall presentation when musical acts were thrown into the mix.