It’s been a strange few years for Shana Cleveland, who proudly defines herself as a touring musician. Just before COVID-19 hit, the lead singer of Seattle-born La Luz had to take time off from playing shows when she was pregnant with her first child, Ozzy.

The pandemic and then her January breast cancer diagnosis further delayed a return to the road. Finally, Cleveland and La Luz are back at it this summer and will help close out the Day In Day Out festival, which runs Aug. 12-14 at Seattle Center.

“It was hard,” Cleveland said by phone from her home in rural Northern California. “Touring just has this tremendous momentum, the fact that you are playing in a different city every day. You’re just constantly moving. It feels impossible to stop moving. It was really impossible for me to accept for that reason.”

Even when grappling with her cancer diagnosis, Cleveland was reluctant to call off La Luz’s return to touring.

“I waited until the last minute until it was like, ‘OK, this clearly can’t happen, I need to get surgery,’ ” she said. “It was a gut punch for sure.”

Though it was tough to get that cancer diagnosis, Cleveland said that overall, the experience left a powerful impact that isn’t entirely negative.


“The whole thing with cancer, though, it’s just completely changed my relationship with life and death,” she said. “My feeling is that things that are supposed to happen will happen. I think my relationship with uncertainty is more mature now.”

Now that she’s been given a clean bill of health, Cleveland said the next step is to celebrate La Luz’s 10-year anniversary.

The surf-rock-inspired indie band has undergone a few lineup shifts since 2012, but the main core of Cleveland, keyboard player Alice Sandahl and bassist Lena Simon have been making music together since 2014. Drummer Audrey Johnson signed on in 2021.

“It’s astonishing to me that I feel like I still have so much more to say and I’m still so excited about the next album, which is most of the way written already,” Cleveland said. “I love this band and I love so much just to play these songs live for people. I’ve never been a party person. When I play these songs and I see people dance … to me it’s such a dream. I get to be part of this party that I would probably be too self-conscious to go to.”

They’ll play a 10th anniversary show in Portland on Aug. 11 at Topaz Farm before their set at Day In Day Out on Aug. 14. And for the first time, Cleveland and partner Will Sprott, who plays with Shannon and the Clams, will have a toddler in the tour van.

“When I was a kid, I would read a story about some weird kid who lived on a boat or something. I was always like, ‘I wish that was me,’ ” Cleveland said. “I always wanted to be doing something weird and cool, and my secret hope is that Ozzy is the same way and he just wants to do something weird and cool and adventurous. But we’ll see, he might be an accountant.”


With a rock star mom like Cleveland, that’s a longshot. And maybe he won’t remember it, but Ozzy is in for quite a treat at Day In Day Out.

The fun gets started Friday with headliners Mitski and Soccer Mommy. Saturday is a full slate that includes indie rocker Mac DeMarco, local hip-hop mainstay Shabazz Palaces and hardcore band Turnstile, who turned in one of last year’s best records with “Glow On,” a genre-defying masterpiece.

La Luz, Animal Collective and Japanese Breakfast help fill out a packed Sunday, with indie-rock heavy hitters The National closing things out.

“I think it’s a really cool idea,” Cleveland said. “I’m excited to see how it works. Playing under the Space Needle is super dreamy.”

Day In Day Out

Aug. 12-14; Fisher Green Pavilion at Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St.; $85-$250;