Aug 30–Sept 1
Dave Matthews Band
The yearly tradition of Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge over Labor Day weekend gets an extra shot of Seattle flavor, courtesy opening sets by local folk-pop powerhouse the Head and the Heart. To co-opt a Head and the Heart lyric, it’s worth traversing “rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers and roads” till you reach the Gorge. Gorge Amphitheatre, George, $49–$75.
Scoff if you want, but Seattle's premiere (only?) Blink-182 cover band Silly Goose is seriously talented and simply a blast for anyone who ever listened to the famed pop punk trio. The group is fronted by Jenn Ghetto (S, Carissa's Wierd) with backing from members of Grand Achieves. Silly Goose releases its first 7" record (featuring "All the Small Things," "Dammit," and "Anthem Part Two") at Chop Suey where the band will open for Cali Giraffes. Chop Suey, $5–$8.
Aug 31–Sept 2
Indie kids’ hearts will burst at Bumbershoot when Death Cab for Cutie plays its breakthrough album Transatlanticism in its entirety. Speaking of heart…Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Ann and Nancy Wilson’s band also headlines alongside Fun., Kendrick Lamar, MGMT, and Bassnectar. A terrific comedy lineup—including the writers of Parks and Recreation and musician Reggie Watts—rounds out a loaded Labor Day weekend festival. Seattle Center, $140 (three-day pass); $56–$60 (single day admission).
Aug 30–Sept 2
The video game industry heads to the Washington State Convention Center for another year of the massively popular Penny Arcade Expo. The event will be Seattleites first chance to get hand-on play with Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4, the new next generation video game consoles. Washington State Convention Center, $95 (four-day pass—sold out); $30 (single day admission).
Dancing Til Dusk's Ball Blanc
Don your finest white linen suit to waltz, fox trot, and swing in the twilight at Olympic Sculpture Park. Dancing Til Dusk’s season of dance lessons and free swing in Seattle’s parks closes with the Ball Blanc, a wear-white celebration with live music by dance hall revivalists the Valse Cafe Orchestra. Olympic Sculpture Park, free.
"It's difficult to be a rebel without a cause now when there are so many causes."—British comedian, actor, and wild man Russell Brand told the Chicago Sun-Times. For his world standup tour, he settles on a cause: "Messiah Complex: Also featuring Jesus Christ, Che Guevara, Gandhi, Malcolm X (and Hitler)." Why take on one when he can tackle them all? Neptune Theatre, $40.
FOOD & DRINK
Blues for Food
Seeking some outdoor music Labor Day Weekend, but don't want to fight the Bumbershoot crowds? Head to Magnuson Park, where Blues for Food Fest features local and national blues bands playing to raise money for Seattle’s Giving Garden Network, which grows fruits and vegetables for the hungry. Magnuson Park Auditorium, $25.
Tilth Seventh Anniversary Barbecue
While many grills will be lit this Labor Day weekend, it'll be hard to top the results at Tilth's seventh annual BBQ in Wallingford. The four-course meal includes pulled pork sliders, beef ribs, jalapeno cornbread, corn crème brulee with candied bacon, and more. Plus, it's easier then trying to light charcoal. Tilth, $45.
Aug 30–Sept 28
Press Start...To Continue
Video game art thematically fits right in for a gallery that has featured art shows on Star Wars, Saturday morning cartoons, and comic books. This year’s Press Start exhibit features works by over thirty artists, mostly following the theme of mashing up old-school games with contemporary counterparts. The classics will be on display—Zelda, the Mario Brothers, and Donkey Kong—but there will also be flashy new works based on fresher gaming franchises: Metal Gear Solid, BioShock, and Mirror’s Edge, just to name a few. Ltd. Art Gallery, free.
Thru Aug 29
APRIL Summer Blockbuster
Authors, Publishers, and Readers of Independent Literature (APRIL) throws a summer party at Northwest Film Forum that includes a poetry reading by Zachary Schomburg, video art from Dakota Gearhart, beers from Naked City Brewery, and a screening of the first summer blockbuster, Jaws. Bigger boat not included. Northwest Film Forum, $8–$24.