We had a hard time narrowing the massive list of our favorite Seattle shows of the year, but we polled the ranks and came up with the list you’ve all been waiting for. Thanks to all the bands, all our contributors, and all the fans that made 2015 a year of top-notch shows.
Ending the year with the pure British rock of Muse was a great send off. Their Drones tour included actual drones, a rocketship and enough audio-visual tricks and treats to leave us wondering “what else is there?” Plus they sounded like a true arena rock band with the best of them.
14. Third Eye Blind
Ever the 90s emblem, Third Eye Blind made an epic stop at Marymoor Park, bringing to life their latest album Dopamine as well as long-time favorites for the dedicated fans. It was a positive vibes kind of night we won’t soon forget.
13. Sufjan Stevens
This Summer’s group therapy session with Sufjan Stevens made for a night of emotive catharsis that literally left grown men in tears. It was a well orchestrated live show that perfectly matched his critically acclaimed Carrie & Lowell album in the most heartfelt way.
Luchadore wrestlers in tow, Puscifer again redefined live shows at the Paramount. Brainchild of Maynard James Keenan’s, the band’s grooving electro beats and somber rock are a class all its own.
11. Duke Evers
Another one of our favorite local bands, Duke Evers killed it this year with their basement-worthy rock and roll, all the while burning up stages with pure magnetism. Their natural reckless abandon is magic to watch – and hear – and with an album slated for the near future we can’t wait to see what they do next.
10. Rise Against
Sounding as golden as our teenage years, Chicago hardcore band Rise Against brought their loud, unforgiving sound to Showbox SoDo for a fist-pumping massive circle pit night of fun.
09. My Goodness
These local Seattle guys play deep-cut blues rock that’s instrumentally brash and vocally screamo. Live, the three-piece is nothing if not captivatingly intense.
08. Death Cab for Cutie
Three glorious nights sold out at The Paramount for local indie sweethearts Death Cab For Cutie made for a perfect tour ending. And on-point performances for each show made for very happy, dedicated fans.
07. Modest Mouse
Indie rock influencers from the good ol’ days, Modest Mouse proved they’re still capable of jaw-dropping rock fury with two solid nights at The Paramount.
06. Fauna Shade
Everett psych-rock outfit Fauna Shade made a run for best magic-carpet ride with their debut album Baton Rouge. The three piece group have an organic musical chemistry and intense live energy that captures the spirit of rock and roll.
05. Alabama Shakes
These soul-stirring Southern rockers tore down both Marymoor Park and a mid-lineup slot at Deck The Hall Ball. With the powerful Brittany Howard at the helm, and their bluesy, psych-rock, Alabama Shakes slays live performances with their unstoppable storytelling.
With palpable energy, Scottish electro-pop band CHVRCHES rocked their sophomore album tour. The sold out Paramount crowd sang along with every word and the band was every bit as humble and powerful as you could ask.
03. twenty one pilots
These young guys from Ohio have taken rock shows by storm, building a massive following that eats up every minute of a live show involving floating instruments, leaping over pianos, hazmat suits, confetti and more energy from two people than anyone else in the scene.
This year’s highly anticipated comeback, Sleater-Kinney delivered their leftist rock and roll with the same kind of punk urgency that made them one of our favorite bands to begin with. We caught both their tour-opening Spokane stop as well as their three nights at The Showbox, proving just how much love we all still have for this local outfit.
It’s no surprise that these rockers wiped the floor with this year’s competition. Every show they put on seems to be an effort at besting themselves: shredding guitars, sick beats, roaring vocals, and more live on-stage chemistry than is fair.