’Tis the season when the music industry begins to slow down. Around turkey-carving time, many of the marquee touring acts start to pack it up, turning their attention to crushing pumpkin pie and avoiding conversation with awkward relatives.

2022, live music’s real bounce-back year, feels a little different, though. After the lockdown era shut off the money spigot for Live Nation and Ticketmaster, the bedfellow corporations controlling the lion’s share of the concert industry, each posted record third quarters with revenues up by roughly two-thirds from pre-pandemic levels.

While concert calendars are slimming down (unlike our holiday waistbands), there are still a decent number of marquee shows coming through the Seattle area. These are some of the biggest.

SMASH benefit

This star-studded benefit jam has quickly become one of Seattle’s best annual concert traditions. The scene-uniting fundraiser helps the nonprofit SMASH (Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare) connect working musicians with free or affordable health services, and for the rest of us, wrangles a cast of local A-listers for a fun tribute show. This year’s salute to David Bowie features (inhales deeply) Pearl Jam ax man Mike McCready, Death Cab’s Ben Gibbard, members of Northwest supergroup Filthy Friends (including Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker), who play Madame Lou’s a night earlier, and Charity Rose Thielen and Matty Gervais of The Head and the Heart — the hometown folk-poppers who have a fundraising gig of their own a week later at the Showbox. This is just the tip of the crazy talented iceberg.

Nov. 20; The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $20-$150; smashseattle.org/tribute

Modest Mouse

After ripping through their breakout “The Lonesome Crowded West” album for last year’s SMooCH concert, benefiting Seattle Children’s uncompensated care fund, the Northwest indie-rock greats decided to take the throwback set on the road in honor of the PNW classic’s silver anniversary. Revisiting their early days, main Mouse Isaac Brock and OG drummer Jeremiah Green return to the venerable Showbox for three nights of feral nostalgia. At the time of this writing, only AXS’ price-gouging “demand” tickets — now a fan-screwing industry standard — remained for more than triple the $47.50 face value, this time benefiting rich people.


Nov. 21-23; Showbox; 1426 First Ave., Seattle; $159 and up; showboxpresents.com

Grupo Firme

The Tijuana kings of regional Mexican music are on top of the world. After racking up hundreds of millions of YouTube views during the pandemic, the Latin Grammy winners have proved a massive IRL concert draw, culminating with a U.S. stadium tour earlier this year — a first for a banda act, putting them on a shortlist of Latin artists to do so. Not bad for a fiercely independent group that started out playing corridos and norteño before expanding to banda covers and other subgenres of regional Mexican, an umbrella term spanning various styles of music connected to different areas of rural Mexico.

Nov. 25; Climate Pledge Arena; 334 First Ave. N., Seattle; $65-$999; climatepledgearena.com

The 1975

The U.K. pop rockers return to Sodo at their glossiest, riding high on this year’s ballyhooed “Being Funny in a Foreign Language.” After starting the record with BJ Burton, who produced riveting experimental change-ups for indie rock vets Bon Iver and Low, The 1975 and unfiltered frontman Matty Healy switched gears and hired superproducer to the pop stars Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey). The shimmer-and-slide results channel resplendent ’80s pop rock, gratuitous sax and all, with Healy’s cheeky, line-toeing sense of humor on full display. Only Ticketmaster’s overpriced “platinum” tickets remain, starting at $199 as of this writing. Blackstarkids open.

Dec. 2; WAMU Theater; 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $199; lumenfield.com

100.7 The Wolf Hometown Holiday

The Seattle station’s holiday-season showcase of country middleweights and up-and-comers returns to Kent, with a lineup featuring Brett Young, best known for his 2017 hit “In Case You Didn’t Know”; Grammy-nominated country-rocker Elle King, whose “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” with Miranda Lambert became the first all-female duet to top Billboard’s country radio chart in almost 30 years this spring; and buzzy breakout Bailey Zimmerman, an Illinois heartstring-tugger who made his impressive major-label debut last month. Also on board: Watershed regular Michael Ray, the TikTok-boosted Nate Smith, former “Voice” contestant Corey Kent and Ashley Cooke.

Dec. 9; accesso ShoWare Center; 625 W. James St., Kent; $30-$145; accessoshowarecenter.com

The Smile

Technically speaking, the critically acclaimed debut from this Radiohead offshoot isn’t a follow-up to the U.K. alt-rock heroes’ 2016 album “A Moon Shaped Pool,” songs that eerily dazzled at the old KeyArena during the band’s 2017 visit. But the pandemic-spawned project guided by half of Radiohead’s creative nucleus — doomsayer frontman Thom Yorke, guitarist Jonny Greenwood and longtime producer/collaborator Nigel Godrich, joined in The Smile by progressive-jazz drummer Tom Skinner — could easily slot into Radiohead’s ever-evolving catalog. Some of modern rock’s most unyielding shape-shifters wind down their North American run with this Seattle date, with Robert Stillman opening.


Dec. 16; WAMU Theater; 800 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; $46.50; lumenfield.com

Snoop Dogg

One of hip-hop’s all-time greats is having a prolific 2022, dropping multiple albums since acquiring the vaunted Death Row Records, which had been largely dormant after it was sold by a Canadian company led, at the time of the acquisition, by Seattle artist and media lawyer Lara Lavi. While the D-O-double-G’s solo output hasn’t made much of a splash in the last 15 years, Martha Stewart’s blunt-sparking bestie has maintained relevance as a pop culture personality and ace feature man, his inimitably smooth voice gracing tracks with everyone from BTS to jazz fusion Gen Z’ers DOMi and JD Beck. Snoop’s Holidaze of Blaze tour also features Auto-Tune pioneer T-Pain, his G funk contemporary Warren G, Ying Yang Twins and Justin Champagne.

Dec. 16; Tacoma Dome; 2727 E. D St., Tacoma; $53-$163; tacomadome.org

Sunny Day Real Estate

For the first time since the early 2010s, the proto-emo greats got the band (mostly) back together for a highly anticipated reunion run that began this fall and concludes with this hometown two-nighter at the Moore. Though original bassist and current Foo Fighter Nate Mendel’s sitting this one out, anticipation has been high for the post-grunge Seattle rockers who delivered two Sub Pop classics before disbanding (for the first time) in 1995. The Appleseed Cast opens.

Dec. 17-18; Moore Theatre; 1932 Second Ave., Seattle; $36.50-$56.50; stgpresents.org

Rod Wave

Florida singer/rapper Rod Wave has become one of the most emotive artists in hip-hop, kicking out back-to-back chart-topping albums, including this year’s “Beautiful Mind,” packed with soaring soul-trap cuts. Don’t miss rising star opener Mariah the Scientist, one of the more enchanting young voices in modern R&B. North Carolina-based Toosii, who earned XXL Freshman Class honors with his sorrowful sing-raps last year, also performs.

Dec. 21; Climate Pledge Arena; 334 First Ave. N., Seattle; $54.50-$355.50; climatepledgearena.com

Kenny G

The G man’s enjoyed a return to cultural relevance the past few years, following his viral Valentine’s Day performance for Kim Kardashian and subsequent Kanye collaboration. Since then, Seattle’s adult contemporary sax king has been the subject of an HBO doc, parodied in a SpongeBob movie and starred in a Super Bowl beer commercial. Oh, and between it all the Franklin High School alum also dropped his first new album in six years with “New Standards,” a set of original tunes inspired by ’50s and ’60s jazz ballads. The man, the locks, the legend caps a 10-show holiday run at Jazz Alley with a pair of pricey New Year’s Eve shows.

Dec. 27-31; Jazz Alley; 2033 Sixth Ave., Seattle; $82.50-$300.50; jazzalley.com