Nearly a year after Covid abolished all live events in Seattle—remember the whole thing about Emerald City Comic Con?—and then the rest of the country, tours are starting to book big shows. Today, Broadway at the Paramount announced a new season of live (in person, in an actual building, with other humans there, breathing) performances. It starts with Jesus Christ Superstar on October 19, 2021, includes seven shows total, and ends with a six-week run of Hamilton from August 3 to September 11. See the full season here. Other venues have dates approaching eventually too. Alecia Keys is set to play WaMu Theater this August. The new Climate Pledge Arena announced its first concert last week: The Weeknd on March 4, 2022.
Of course, all this comes as vaccination rates still remain pretty low, and new virus variants are circulating. Museums are creaking back open again. But although 25-percent capacity shows are now allowed under the county's new phase 2, smaller performance venues largely remain closed. The Seattle Times has a list of what's actually opened. For live shows so far, that's only Green Lake's Little Red Hen, the University District's Laugh's Comedy Club, and Pike Place Market's Unexpected Productions.
The continued closure seems wise. I will not set foot in a music venue without a vaccine. While regulating museum goers right now is pretty easy (I have never seen anyone grind on each other at an exhibit), venues keeping a young, buzzed concert crowd socially distanced and masked—while still turning any profit and keeping staff safe—seems fraught at best. Hopefully by next summer that fear will be a thing of the past, and the biggest collective worry in crowds will center on Aaron Burr.