Decibel Festival 2012: Kimbra with The Stepkids @ Showbox Market

all photos by Morgen Schuler

Wednesday night’s festivities at the Showbox were a dazzling spectacle of color and sound. Breakthrough pop star Kimbra and psychedelic funk rockers The Stepkids both brought their own unique flair to the stage and gave those present a wonderful time. The Showbox was packed to the absolute brim. Whether those present were die hard Kimbra fans waiting to see their favorite pop singer finally take a Seattle stage as the headlining act, or just Decibel Festival-goers scoping out Wednesday night’s options, everyone had a good time. Right off the bat, these two acts showed us what Decibel Festival is meant to be: a blend of technology and art that creates an immersive and captivating experience.

The Stepkids‘ stage setup was simple. Large white sheets created a wall behind them as they walked onstage in all white suits and shirts that you’d expect the Beegees to rock from time to time. But as the music began, large drips of green paint started to fall down the sheets behind them. As the music built, the paint fell faster, and soon, The Stepkids were a blur of colors. After several songs, the band made sure to point out that man running the lights and colors projected from the back of the room was indeed part of their band. The Stepkids’ sound was really only complete with the dazzling visual trip that he created for each show. As the colors flew in each direction, the band started to blend in with their background, and the entire spectacle became a different beast entirely. With their music alone, The Stepkids could fill a venue. Their blend of 70s funk, soul (even gospel at one point) with psychedelic overtones and indie rock presence made for a really fun set. But with an art showcase projected on top of them, there’s no way you couldn’t have loved their set.

The Stepkids:

Kimbra’s blend of color and sound was completely different. Her stage was decorated with the massive shining tree that fans have come to recognize. Kimbra came onstage in a ridiculously colorful and obscure outfit that only her and Bjork could love. She danced this way and that with insane presence. Her vocals were every bit as powerful as they were on the album. As the songs went on, her outfit transformed. Part of her dress became a headdress, then it became a cape, and so on. If that wasn’t enough, Kimbra had two outfit changes after that. Throughout the show, her innate confidence and love for the crowd radiated through the venue. Kimbra’s style borders on art-pop, but she is anything but pretentious. Rather, she just bounces around and gives the crowd exactly what they were hoping for. On top of that, her band was absolutely fantastic. As you can tell from her pictures, Kimbra was an explosion of happiness, passion, and incredibly vivid performance.


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