While going through our photos from last year's Decibel Festival in Seattle, we realized we never posted anything about this amped-up weekend we spent listening and experiencing an incredible array of music, while dancing our asses off.
Sadly, we won't be attending the DB Festival this year and wow, what a line up! So here is a late, but funfilled recap of Decibel Festival 2009! The Decibel Festival is a labor of love started in 2003 with impressive list of musical and visual artist from all over the world. Playing in various clubs mainly in the Capital Hill area of Seattle, it's not an outdoor music festival - YAY! We're just too old for the whole port-a-potty thing. Clubs, we can handle, even grimey Seattle clubs. Pre-sale tickets for all the workshops, panel discussions, shows and afterhours (we'll get to that) is a mere $157 or you can attend individual shows ranging from $5 to $32. A great breakdown of cost can be found on the website. So figuring out how many showcases, workshops, shows and panel discussions will cost verses getting an all access pass is made easy.
We purchased tickets online and picked them up at a great little neighborhood bar Chapel, an old mortuary, with a granite bar where the body used to lay during service.
The 2009 line-up included several artists we haven't seen and few we had. Most of the shows we wanted to see were at Neumos a gritty little club off of E Pike Street. We weren't able to make it to the Thursday night shows but we were front and center for the dubstep shows Friday, starting with someone we had seen before - Mad Professor, old school!
However, we thought his set was really dated. C'mon man, this is the largest electronic music festival in the US, bring what's hot, not what's hot a few months ago. It was all worth it when Benga hit the stage!
A dubstep DJ hailing from the UK, has a heavy garage background that brought out the goths who jammed to the dark warbly beats. It was the first time we had seen him and he came prepared. At one point N-Type another UK artist came up on stage and hyped up the crowd with his crazy gangly MC style. We had seen N-Type in Tokyo and it was nice to see him stateside.
One impressive item about the Decibel Festival was how on time the performances were. With short 1-hour sets, equipment and performers transitioned smoothly, quickly and on time. Which allowed us to step out for snacks at Pike Street Fish Fry which is conveniently located between two of the venues on Pike Street and opened late. Fish & Chips late night inbetween shows - yes, please!
Originally opened as a Belgium Frites (fries) shop with impressive list of sauces besides ketchup, now a traditional English fish & chip shop frying up the best seafood and local vegetables.
Best part is every order of fish & chips come with a battered and deep fried lemon! Interesting!
After we filled our bellies we were off to another club, another show and an afterhours party. We stumbled home as the sun came up to sleep, eat and rest up for the next night's events. Saturday night's events started in the warehouse district far from the Capital Hill venues to see Martyn, an dubby Deep House/Techno artist we had heard lots about and was really looking forward to seeing. Definitely one of the highlights of the festival. We then headed back up to Capital Hill and to Neumos for BBC Radio 1's infamous Mary Anne Hobbs' Dubstep and Grime performance.
The Decibel Festival is a festival for the late night people with most of the headlining acts starting around 11pm/midnight and afterhour parties starting around 3am. We did stop in Fish Fry again, just for fries this time, we needed something to soak up some alcohol before heading to the afterhours party at the Electric Tea Gardens, where Cyanwave was playing.
We were amazed at the diversity of the performers. Even though it is an electronic music fesival each performer was completely different. Mad Professor had deck tracks and a mixer, like we said - Old School. Benga was straight-up DJ with turntables and records. Mary Anne Hobbs used CD mixers, and Cyanwave were laptop artists. It was an incredible mix of talent.
Have fun this year, be safe, have fun and dance, dance, dance!