Finishing up Decibel Festival, the Finale was a powerful and well-rounded night of music at Neumos. The turnout was far better than anyone could have expected for a Sunday evening after five days of nonstop partying. Some artists who had entertained earlier in the week came by for the closing ceremonies, including Seattle’s own Lusine. The three acts -- Pezzner, Public Lover, and John Talabot -- felt like a natural progression from one to the next, despite their radically different styles, and altogether, it was the perfect ending to another wonderful year of Decibel Festival.
Seattle-based producer Pezzner opened up the night with a great turnout and easily accessible dance party. Pezzner has been making noise in the Seattle area for years, and much of the crowd present was visibly and audibly aware of his local presence. It was fun to see Lusine dancing along, as the two have worked together in the past with remixes and whatnot. With his table set so far back, he was obscured by the awesome visuals provided by Scott Sunn (he also did the visuals we saw for the Ghostly International Showcase). But the crowd wasn’t there to watch Pezzner - they were there to experience his tunes and share the love with everyone present. Pezzner upped the energy and volume throughout his set up until a massive ending climax. As a veteran of the art, it was a gift to see Pezzner open the night with a set worthy of closing.
Pezzner was followed by Public Lover, the beautiful and captivating minimalist project of Bruno Pronsato and Ninca Leece. The Berlin pair takes minimal techno layering and puts a quiet house beat behind it to create context for Leece’s haunting melodies. As Pronsato manned the controls in the back, Leece floated up to the edge of the stage with pure grace and stole hearts with her simple, yet heartfelt, melodies. Public Lover’s set was a simple continuum. The beat never disappeared, though at times, it was the only thing booming through the speakers. But in silence and in chaotic texture, Public Lover reminded us of what emotion can be conveyed through dance music, no matter how thick or complicated your arrangements are.
Finishing off Decibel Festival was the northwest debut of rising Spanish name John Talabot. Accompanied by fellow Spanish electronic artist Pional, the pair made enough noise to shake windows down the street in Capitol Hill. Talabot no doubt played the loudest set of the weekend. But the decibels themselves weren’t the real cause for the audience’s captive attention. Talabot and Pional worked off each other flawlessly to pull off incredible arrangements of Talabot’s songs off newest album Fin. Pional offered live vocals where he did on the album. Closing the main set with “Destiny”, Talabot tore the roof off and successfully helped everyone forget that they had to get up for work in less than five hours. While many Talabot fans may have gotten to see him open for the xx later in the week, it was fun to see Talabot headline his first show in the northwest, and to see him do it with such tenacity and ease.
John Talabot featuring Pional:
See you next year!