Day five of the Decibel Festival, and the mood today was relaxed and mellow as people began winding down after the very busy past five days. Lots of traveling, listening, and socializing demanded some chilled out vibes toward the end of the festivities, and what better group to bring in that headspace than Thievery Corporation? The crowd at Showbox Sodo is surprisingly scant, but the ones who are there are deeply enjoying the goods. T.C. have been around long enough to know their way around a dance floor or two, and while they keep it relatively mild and lounge-y, they aren’t afraid to take the occasional foray into funk and disco. There are lots of smiles and dancing to be had as the veterans produce a satisfying set that sees them play some old classics as well as newer material.
After some downtime and quick first aid for a nasty cold, I head the other direction to Re-Bar to end the festival by checking out DJ Tennis, and the name that I’ve been looking forward to more so than anyone else: Roman Flügel. Flügel is a man who’s body of work demands a lot of respect, not just for how many brilliant moments he’s given us over his many pseudonyms, but his enduring longevity in the scene as a whole. The pair are doing a DJ set to last well into the wee hours, and by the time I get there, there is a line queuing down the block as there are no other Decibel events left standing. As I wait in line, a dude with a barbecue on the sidewalk is selling foot-longs with sauerkraut to the audience, and he’s doing a pretty brisk business at that.
Once I get in, it’s pandemonium: bodies flying, hands waving, and standing-room-only-shuffling. The stage is littered with humanity as well, with people striking poses and flinging themselves all over the stage. After the past five nights of club hopping, I’m fucking dead as hell, but the energy in this place is fantastic.
I’m happy to see it so packed, as my bias prefers that as many people as possible witness Flügel and whatever he has up his sleeve. He comes bounding up on stage in a Los Angeles Lakers shirt, all smiles and giving high-fives to everyone in slapping distance. He’s just as stoked to be here as the audience is. He and Tennis continue to ravish the dance floor with funky techno and electro, and for a while I completely forgot that I was sick and half-asleep. This set has the best energy of the festival by far, and the fact it’s the last makes it even more memorable. I even see Dauwd throwing some moves out behind the stage with everyone else. I dance around, take some photos, a few people ask me who I’m tweeting for, and then I take my final exit.
As I walk home in the middle of the night, wandering the Seattle streets, my ears aching, my cold festering, I’m still buzzing from the energy. I’m happy as hell to experience this, and now, I’m passing out.