Update 2/25: Justin Bieber has postponed his Feb. 26 Tacoma Dome concert.
When the pandemic struck two years ago, many a mega tour went on hold. The music industry has been climbing out of COVID-19 slumber for more than seven months now, and the next few weeks finds some of the biggest contemporary pop stars coming through Seattle, starting with a long-delayed Justin Bieber concert. Or at least it’s supposed to.
After kicking off his Justice World Tour in San Diego last week, Bieber reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the postponement of the tour’s next stop in Las Vegas and casting uncertainty over his upcoming Tacoma show. Here’s wishing Biebs a speedy recovery. But even if his Washington date’s pushed back yet again, Seattle has a full slate of pop heavyweights in town over the next six weeks. Here are the highlights. (Check websites for coronavirus requirements. And note: Some videos may contain explicit language.)
Even before the COVID case, it might have been tough for Beliebers to keep the faith that our local date with the man-child pop hero would ever happen, between venue changes and pandemic delays. The tattooed heartthrob initially planned to launch his Changes tour at Seattle’s pro football stadium in spring of 2020, later downgrading to the smaller Tacoma Dome before multiple pandemic delays. Two years later, the singer and sometimes parishioner at Kirkland’s Churchome (yes, really) is back on the road with a whole new album — last year’s “Justice,” which yielded seven Grammy nominations. With openers Jaden (the musical son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith), ¿Téo? and Eddie Benjamin.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 26; Tacoma Dome, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma; $93.50-$524; tacomadome.org
The Puerto Rican reggaeton star has been at the fore of the Latin trap boom, and after a banner 2020, Bad Bunny finally embarked on the biggest tour of his career this month. Last year, the history-making rapper/singer dropped three well-received albums, capping the prolific run with “El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo,” which became the first Spanish-language album to top the Billboard’s mainstream album chart. After a light winter, there’s no one better to fire up a hot spring schedule at the Pledge.
8 p.m. March 1; Climate Pledge Arena, 334 First Ave. N., Seattle; limited tickets remain starting at $420; climatepledgearena.com
The red-hot British band totally pulled a Portugal. The Man, leaping from the indie rock world to the top of the pop charts, just as the Northwest psych-rockers (who also play WAMU March 29) did a few years ago with their unlikely pop hit “Feel It Still.” The more danceable and genre-blurring Glass Animals scored big with their slow-burning smash “Heat Waves,” which currently sits in the top five of Billboard’s Hot 100, despite being released two years ago. In a sign of their increased popularity, the best new artist Grammy nominees recently added a second Seattle show.
8 p.m. March 10-11; WAMU Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $47-$199; lumenfield.com
After pandemic delays, Gen Z’s biggest American pop star finally returns to Washington a bona fide arena headliner with a sold-out, two-night stand at Climate Pledge Arena. The wait was long enough for Eilish to unload a second acclaimed album in last year’s hypnotically sparse “Happier Than Ever,” backed by an Apple TV+ doc and her own Disney+ concert special — the new pandemic standard for superstar album rollouts. Two years after sweeping the Grammys’ top awards, the 20-year-old pop juggernaut and reformed neo-goth has a shot at grabbing three of the top four at this year’s ceremony, with her big bro/songwriting partner Finneas up for best new artist separately. L.A. rapper Duckwrth opens.
7:30 p.m. March 25-26; Climate Pledge Arena, 334 First Ave. N., Seattle; limited tickets remain starting at $100.50; climatepledgearena.com
March 2020 was a distressing time for everyone, and the music industry was certainly no exception. With the world on edge and touring indefinitely suspended, it seemed like the worst possible time to roll out a glistening, big-budget dance-pop album. Yet this British pop singer on the cusp didn’t flinch, blasting her irresistible “Future Nostalgia” LP into the world as most of her contemporaries were recoiling. The self-described “female alpha’s” chutzpah and disco exuberance was rewarded with a glowing reception that solidified her stardom in unusual times. Two years and several pandemic postponements later, Dua Lipa gets the victory lap she deserves. Caroline Polachek and Lolo Zouai open.
7:30 p.m. March 31; Climate Pledge Arena, 334 First Ave. N, Seattle; $129.50-$330; climatepledgearena.com
2021 belonged to Olivia Rodrigo, the breakout pop queen who has a chance to follow in Eilish’s Grammy-sweeping footsteps. Just a week into the new year, Rodrigo, the latest teen Disney star to ascend the pop charts, dropped the song of the year with “drivers license” — a lovesick smash that had America in its feelings the way no one over the age of 21 could provoke. The 18-year-old quickly swatted down one-hit-wonder whispers, months later unleashing her raved-about debut album “SOUR,” which evokes Taylor Swift’s singer-songwriter cinematics and turn-of-the-century pop-punk. Though she could easily play the shiny new hockey arena across town, Rodrigo’s first headlining tour hits the comparatively intimate WAMU Theater just three dates in. Gracie Abrams opens.
8 p.m. April 6; WAMU Theater, 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; sold out; lumenfield.com
Tyler, the Creator
In some ways, rappers are the new pop and rock stars rolled into one. And other than Drake, there might not be a rapper with as much Gen Z appeal that embodies hip-hop’s integration with pop music better than Tyler, the Creator. After an experimental pop detour that saw the reformed shock-rapper dabble with an alternate persona and earning the most critical acclaim of his career, rap fans rejoiced when Tyler returned to his bar-spitting roots on last year’s “Call Me If You Get Lost.” Apparently, the rapper/auteur spent some time in Washington during the pandemic, as photos of a loafered-up Tyler kicking back on a ferry surfaced on social media in 2020. The man does have a line about buying a crib in Seattle on his new album. Just saying. Tyler leads a stacked bill featuring Kali Uchis, Vince Staples and Teezo Touchdown.
7 p.m. April 8; Climate Pledge Arena, 334 First Ave. N, Seattle; $69.50-$313; climatepledgearena.com