The splashiest concerts coming to the Seattle area in 2023

After 2022’s bounce-back summer concert season kept rolling into the fall, 2023 is on track to be another banner year of big-name artists hitting the road. Major tour announcements are still rolling in. But local dates with these hometown heroes, controversial country stars and certified pop icons are the most anticipated 2023 concerts currently on the books.

Bruce Springsteen

At 73 years young, the sultan of snug-fitting denim just dropped a soul covers album, “Only the Strong Survive,” in November. It’s a totally solid late-career record we didn’t necessarily need from a rock ‘n’ roll icon, but puts a fun wrinkle in the canon of classic rock’s Captain America. Long positioned as music’s man of the people, Springsteen caught heat for the steep cost of demand-based ticket prices for his first post-lockdown run that brings the Boss and his E Street Band back to Seattle for the first time since a nearly four- hour marathon in 2016. The backlash is understandable. At the time of this writing, the handful of remaining tickets started at nearly $380 for nosebleeds. Feb. 27; Climate Pledge Arena; $379.50-$795.50; climatepledgearena.com

SZA

They say absence makes the heart grow thirstier (or something like that). So when SZA unleashed her long-awaited follow-up to modern R&B classic “Ctrl,” fans drank it up like a Dasani bottle in the desert. Released in December, the singer’s sophomore album arrived a sound-expanding masterstroke with fuzzy pop-punk dalliances (“F2F”), cerebral pop head-swimmers and acoustic emotional outpourings (“Nobody Gets Me”) showing genre walls can’t contain her. . For her first outing as a bona fide arena headliner, SZA tapped alt-R&B standout Omar Apollo for support. March 16; Climate Pledge Arena, as of this writing remaining tickets start at $255.50; climatepledgearena.com

Echoes Through the Canyon

Expanding from one night to three, Brandi Carlile’s annual Gorge pilgrimage is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated concert weekends Washington’s seen in years, thanks to her folk legend friend Joni Mitchell and the “Joni Jam” band headlining Saturday night. The dream-come-true addition follows Mitchell’s first public performance in years, sharing a stage with Carlyle and friends for a semi-surprise set at 2022’s Newport Folk Festival. Although Friday and Saturday are sold out, tickets remain for Sunday’s slate with a rare full-band date with Carlile’s country supergroup The Highwomen and special guest Tanya Tucker. June 9-11; Gorge Amphitheatre; Sunday tickets start at $55; livenation.com

George Strait

Seattle country fans lucked out with the king of country’s six-date spring/summer fling putting our local football stadium on his limited 2023 docket, as the 70-year-old star — who boasts an incredible 33 platinum albums — has taken to fly- out megashows over wholesale touring these days. Joining the era-spanning country great is a contemporary star with an old soul in Chris Stapleton, plus the harmony-happy foursome Little Big Town. Remaining nosebleeds start at an absurd $255. June 17; Lumen Field; $255-$2,840; lumenfield.com

Janet Jackson

The youngest performer in pop’s royal family has a lot to celebrate in her first trek since the pandemic. Jackson’s Together Again tour looks to be a career-spanning toast to 50 years in the music industry, with a special focus on landmark ’90s albums “Janet.” and “The Velvet Rope” in honor of milestone anniversaries. In announcing the tour, which wraps up in Seattle, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer also teased new music, hinting at what could be her first studio album since 2015’s “Unbreakable.” June 21; Climate Pledge Arena; $45.45-$504.50; climatepledgearena.com

Dead & Company

This official-as-it-gets Grateful Dead offshoot — featuring heyday members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann with a surprisingly well-received John Mayer — is calling it quits after satisfying grateful Deadheads for seven years. But not without one last lucrative summer run. On the back end of their farewell tour, the jam rock deities swing through the Northwest for a weekend at the Gorge before a three-night walk-off in their hometown San Francisco ballpark. At the time of this writing, only price-gouging “official platinum” tickets remain. July 7-8; Gorge Amphitheatre; $429.50; livenation.com

Taylor Swift

The Taylor Swift universe is at the center of two of the music industry’s biggest fights, between fallout from Ticketmaster’s botched handling of her Eras Tour and the ongoing rerecording of Swift’s back catalog in one of the all-time great middle fingers to music-biz suits. (Somewhere Prince is slow-clapping in his urn.) Seismic Swiftian activity often comes with a little drama, but don’t let it overshadow the immaculately dreamy synth-pop she blessed us with on fall’s “Midnights” LP, a Grammys album- of-the-year candidate that caps a prolific pandemic studio run she’s emerging from with this ballyhooed stadium tour. The soft-rocking HAIM sisters and rising bedroom pop singer Gracie Abrams open. July 22-23; Lumen Field; sold out

Ed Sheeran

It seems Britain’s boy-next-door pop juggernaut is all grown up now. Ed Sheeran’s latest album — 2021’s “=” — is strewn with heavy-handed reflections from a new father and husband on the north side of 30. One thing that hasn’t changed is the inoffensive popsmith’s mass appeal, with his Mathematics tour winding through Lumen Field this summer with support from Khalid and Maisie Peters. Aug. 23; Lumen Field; $79-$139; lumenfield.com

Bumbershoot

Seattle’s signature Labor Day weekend festival looks to return from a three-year hiatus under new organizers New Rising Sun who pledged to rekindle some of Bumbershoot’s bohemian magic while slashing ticket prices and spinning away from giant headliners. The cadre of local music/arts/nightlife impresarios at the helm have yet to release details. But for opinionated music fans and longtime Seattleites, the comeback edition of the beloved Seattle Center fest will surely be the most eagerly anticipated (and heavily scrutinized) concert event of the year. Labor Day weekend; ticket info not yet announced; Seattle Center

The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie

Twenty years ago, Ben Gibbard’s highest profile bands unleashed two certified classics that soundtracked a generation of breakups and college road trips. The 2000s indie kids who played their “Give Up” and “Transatlanticism” CDs on repeat (or stole them off Napster) will have a chance to see a reunited Postal Service and Death Cab perform their era-defining albums in their entirety during a co -headlining run that includes two sold-out Seattle dates. While Death Cab’s remained an indie-rock fixture, coming off one of its best albums in years, it’s the first time The Postal Service’s Jimmy Tamborello, Jenny Lewis and Gibbard have reassembled since a 2013 tour marking the 10th anniversary of their lone album — Sub Pop’s second biggest seller ever. Oct. 6-7; Climate Pledge Arena; sold out

Morgan Wallen

The uncancellable country star has been a commercial steamroller since the release of 2021’s sprawling double album “Dangerous,” his chart dominance unhindered (or perhaps bolstered) by a video of Wallen using a racial slur. However you feel about the mulleted lightning rod, Wallen’s remained Nashville’s hottest star of the past few years. In December, Wallen became the first artist to have the top three songs on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, with a trio of singles previewing his forthcoming album. After headlining Watershed in 2022, Wallen returns to Washington this fall for a sold-out date on his “One Night at a Time” tour. ERNEST and Bailey Zimmerman open. Oct. 7; Tacoma Dome; sold out

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