Decibel Review: Orbital Reaches New Heights

The UK electro-duo legends played a highlight headliner set at The Paramount in Seattle on Thursday.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

On tour with their first new album since reuniting in 2009, the British electronic music duo Orbital gave proper flight to the ninth annual Decibel Festival on Thursday night at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle.

Behind matching headlamps and giant psychedelic LED screens, brothers Phil and Paul Hartnoll played a fine selection of tracks from their new album Wonky, mixing seamlessly with the duo's celebrated previous efforts, including the 90s-classic "Chime" and "Are We Here?". New songs "Stringy Acid" (also the name of a vodka-and-cranberry cocktail sold in the lobby) and set-opener "One Big Moment" were particular standouts in the 100-minute set, which left both diehards and newcomers satiated with ears ringing.

A left-hook surprise came through the live mash-up of "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" (yes, the Belinda Carlisle song from over two decades ago) and Bon Jovi's "Shot Through the Heart," eliciting laughs and enthusiastic buoyancy from those in the crowd old enough to recognize the pre-internet classics.

Among the most celebrated tracks were the Brown Album cut "Impact (The Earth is Burning)" as well as their mix of the Dr. Who theme, which resulted in more than a few nerd head-explosions. Massive hooks and electric breakdowns were doled out in plentitude, the Hartnoll brothers clearly enjoying themselves behind their headlamps.

An encore featuring "One Perfect Sunrise" and the futuristic-jam "Where Is It Going?" closed out the night, sending the EDM-frenzied crowd off on a high note, properly prepped for the all-immersive weekend that Decibel Fest has in store.

For those in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, it's high time you got down to Seattle with a quickness. The Decibel Festival Pass ($215/person) gives you access to 35 clubs showcases (14 venues, featuring 160+ artists), 7 OPTICAL events and the three-day dB Conference. As with previous years, the boat parties and after hours events are NOT INCLUDED WITH THE DECIBEL PASS. See the list of Showcases HERE.

Purchase the 3-Day Festival Pass HERE. Tickets to other after party events are available online as well. Those tickets start at $17/person.

For more information, visit the website at


Photos: Johnny Firecloud