Live music has been sprouting up across Seattle like flowers from sidewalk cracks. Concerts in parking lots. Concerts behind plexiglass. Concerts where the audience is diffuse and masked and seated. But Seattle’s music scene has remained largely dormant since early 2020. Now, suddenly, with the state reopening, several venues have filled in their July calendars with local bands.
Neumos, for instance, will roar back to life on July 1 with a belated album release show from local psych rock outfit Spirit Award, supported by Antonioni (who also released a record this year) and Black Ends, while downstairs at Barboza, EDM electro-pop magician Chong the Nomad headlines.
The Neptune Theatre also has a heavily local slate of shows, as does the Tractor Tavern and Ballard Homestead. And, of course, if you want to see music outdoors, there are many options. Below are a few picks for must-see shows this month.
Jul 8 If you want to ease back into live music, Fretland’s gentle, harmonious folk should be a fine reintroduction. Ballard Homestead, $20
Jul 8 The local folk outfit still has one show of its three-night stand at the Tractor that hasn’t sold out. Tractor Tavern, $15
Jul 9 A punk band with a horn section, Actionesse is incessantly fun live—sweaty, loud, wild. Here they’re joined by Mirrorgloss, a dance-pop duo out of Tacoma. Drunky Two Shoes BBQ, $10
Jul 10 This whole lineup is excellent: Sango makes ecstatically creative beats. Dave B is one of the stronger up-and-coming rappers in the area. Stas Thee Boss has, since her time in TheeSatisfaction, been one of the people who most defined what Seattle has sounded like in the last decade. Neptune Theatre, $25
Jul 10 Porter is a consistently smart, fun rapper out of Tacoma (who’s also an accomplished painter). See, for instance, the title of his 2019 album, Bobby RO$$. Barboza, $11
Jul 17 A sort of funk hip-hop collective, Marshall Law Band was reportedly up for Pulitzer consideration for its 12th and Pine album, which came out of the band’s time playing at CHOP last summer. Neumos, $16–$18
Jul 23 Both these local bands trade in 1990s inflected bummer indie, and they’re excellent at it, depressive and yearning and funny. Neumos, $21–$24
Jul 31 Between Warren Dunes’ weirdo beach rock, Shepherd’s clarion soul, and Black Ends’ tight post punk, this show should be an excellent sampling of artists who, if you haven’t heard of them already, you’ll hear about everywhere soon. Neptune Theatre, $15