Best Things To Do

The Top 36 Events in Seattle This Week: Sept 18–24, 2023

Arctic Monkeys, Fremont Oktoberfest, and More Top Picks
September 18, 2023
Bier steins will be hoisted and pumpkins will be massacred with chainsaws at the Fremont Oktoberfest. (Fremont Oktoberfest via Facebook)
This week, we're counting down the days to the official start of fall with the best things to do, from Arctic Monkeys to Common and from Fremont Oktoberfest to the 26th Annual Local Sightings Film Festival.

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Common Past Event List
Fresh off the stage of Kamala Harris' 50 Years of Hip-Hop celebration, multi-hyphenate rapper Common will stop by the other Washington to yet again honor the genre's milestone. He will likely perform tracks from his latest release, the double album A Beautiful Revolution (Pt. 1 + 2), which NME described as "rich with Afro-centric grooves and dusty drum breaks" with "the spirit of James Brown weaving in and out of the pro-Black messaging." Plus, his pal John Legend will be in town just three days after—is it just a coincidence? I could see them special guest-ing at each other's shows with a performance of their Grammy-winning song "Glory," but I make no promises! AV
(Benaroya Hall, Downtown)


Northwest Trolls: Way of the Bird King Past Event List
If you've come across a massive Nordic troll in the wild lately, chances are you're not hallucinating—you've just discovered one of Danish artist and environmentalist Thomas Dambo's gigantic, hand-built, recycled sculptures. His Pacific Northwest-based project, Northwest Troll: Way of the Bird King, has seen six humongous Nordic trolls land in scenic spots across the region, including Bainbridge Island, Issaquah, Vashon Island, West Seattle, and Portland. The final one will be unveiled at the National Nordic Museum on September 18, and they’ll be installed across the region for at least three years.The trolls, which are "characters in an environmental story penned by the artist," serve to illustrate critical lessons of environmental stewardship. Spy the other troll spots on Dambo's online map, too. LC
(National Nordic Museum, Ballard)



In Person Author Talk: Kate Lebo, Pie School Past Event List
Award-winning baker, writer, and poet Kate Lebo essentially created a self-contained Pie 101 course in her charming 2014 book Pie School, which contains pie history and lore in addition to guides to creating flaky, buttery crusts and luscious fillings. Now, she's updated it with even more pastry savvy, including 20 all-new pie recipes. At this event, she'll present a cooking demonstration and share some slices with attendees. JB
(Book Larder, Fremont)


Coldplay: Music of the Spheres World Tour Past Event List
I must admit, Coldplay lost me after 2008's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (which I still can't believe Brian Eno produced). I guess I preferred when their sound felt intimate, rather than the anthemic arena rock that they've evolved into. Plus, between their first three albums, Coldplay has approximately 100,000 bangers (I don't care how cool you think you are, "Fix You" is a good song!) And, in a world where most arena-rock bands have either disbanded or been rightfully canceled (i.e. Oasis, Arcade Fire, Maroon 5, etc.) Coldplay is basically all we have. They will bring their Music of the Spheres World tour to Seattle in support of their 2021 album of the same name. Don't you dare miss opening sets from R&B artist (and guitar god) H.E.R. and rising rapper 070 Shake. AV
(Lumen Field, SoDo)


Nicole Chung with Kalani Kapahua: A Living Remedy: A Memoir Past Event List
When Nicole Chung graduated high school, she was eager to leave her overwhelmingly white Oregon hometown, but as her life on the East Coast unfolded, she witnessed the stark differences from the paycheck-to-paycheck world of her childhood. In A Living Remedy, Chung meditates on the "specific, hollow guilt of those who leave hardship behind, yet are unable to bring anyone else with them." She'll chat with Kalani Kapahua, manager of Third Place Books' Ravenna store. LC
(Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park)



Teton Gravity Research: Legend Has It Past Event List
Get stoked for sick powder (or whatever it is skiers and snowboarders say) at this celebration of all things winter sports. Extreme sports media experts Teton Gravity Research will present their 28th annual flick Legend Has It, which compiles ski and snowboard footage that'll have you itching to hit the slopes. Show up early with fellow shredders for athlete poster signings and prize giveaways from YETI, SierraNevada, Tincup Whiskey, and other companies; attendees can also enter to win an outdoorsy Nissan Pathfinder or a bougie trip to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. LC
(Neptune Theatre, University District)


Elizabeth Rush Past Event List
Four years ago, a crew of scientists set out for Thwaites Glacier, an unusually broad Antarctic glacier that had never been visited by humans before. Their goal? To learn as much as possible about the ice formation, which was purported to be deteriorating and potentially contributing to catastrophic global sea-level rise. Elizabeth Rush, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist Rising, documented the voyage in The Quickening, engaging with the unknown, the sublime, and the every day. Activites like ping-pong and lab work comingle with "staggering waves" and "unfamiliar contours" at sea, and the story is woven with more intimate questions: namely, what does parenthood mean in an era of "radical change?" LC
(Elliott Bay Book Company, Capitol Hill)

Naomi Klein: A Trip Into the Mirror World Past Event List
When the Canadian author and social activist Naomi Klein found herself being continuously confused with a certain COVID conspiracist with a similar name (cough, Naomi Wolf, cough), she did the opposite of what I would do (delete my social media and disappear forever). Instead, her digital doppelganger inspired a book on what Klein deems "collective vertigo," a distorted sense of reality that grows increasingly scrambled by social media, AI-generated content, echo chambers, and contradictions. (We live in hell, and her new name is X.) According to Klein, Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World "grapples with the wildness of right now." She'll dig into it at this talk. LC
(Town Hall Seattle, First Hill)



Love Isn't Blind with Allison Goldberg Past Event List
Comedy performer Allison Goldberg's dating show has made waves recently, showing up in LA Magazine, Thrillist, Time Out LA, and elsewhere. Let's do as the Angelenos do, shall we? The show should appeal to those of us who are sick of swiping—and sick of men's voices. In Love Isn't Blind, a handful of fellas will compete on stage for one bachelorette, with the little caveat that they can't speak. Like, at all. Instead, the audience will sort through the pickings by calling the boys' moms and unlocking their phones. The last man standing will go on a date with the bachelorette. Sound weird? Almost certainly!! No weirder than dating in general, though. LC
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown)


Arctic Monkeys Past Event List
The Arctic Monkeys are back in town for the first time since 2018 with tracks from their latest release, The Car. As the album's title (and cover) suggest, the lyrics are full of vehicular references—but make no mistake—this is not an automotive concept album! Rather, cars are used to set the scene for childhood tales, and later, the disillusionment of fame. The album is undeniably cozy and nostalgic with orchestral flourishes, neo-soul-inspired instrumentation, and jazzy croons; bringing to mind the CDs that Starbucks sold back in the day (you know, next to the sugar-free gum and vanilla almond biscottis?) AV
(Climate Pledge Arena, Uptown)

Who Is She? Record Release Past Event List
Girlboss energy is out, and Goddess energy is very in. Just ask the musicians behind Who Is She?, the Seattle supergroup comprised of members of other local music scene favorites including Chastity Belt, Tacocat, and Lisa Prank. Their new album Goddess Energy is absolutely brimming with it. The band came together in 2017 when Julia Shapiro, Bree McKenna, and Robin Edwards started to write buoyant and breezy songs about Myspace Top 8s, romantic comedies, and crushing on people while riding the 44 bus. After releasing their debut album Seattle Gossip that same year, the group kept a pretty low profile while the trio focused on their original bands. Almost six years and a whole pandemic later, Who Is She? are finally back to keep the Seattle scene from taking itself too seriously. KURT SUCHMAN
(Southgate Roller Rink, White Center)



Nimesh Patel: Fast and Loose Tour Past Event List
Emmy-nominated Saturday Night Live writer and funnyman Nimesh Patel has been a common face in NYC's comedy scene for the last decade—he's a regular at the famed Comedy Cellar, and has been the non-canceled opener for Chris Rock and Aziz Ansari. I'm hoping Patel serves up more chill, open-minded comedy for this performance. (Will his parents find out, though?) Patel already kindly answered your questions on Twitter, so grab a ticket to thank him. LC
(Moore Theatre, Belltown)


Luminata Past Event List
Bring your own lanterns or buy one on-site at Fremont Arts Council's annual autumnal equinox celebration, which will help ease you into the less-sunny season. The evening will kick off with an opening ceremony, followed by a parade around Green Lake, and a dazzling display of illuminated art. The community always shows up for this truly magical evening—bring your date, bring your kids, bring your dog, and throw on any and all glow-in-the-dark and light-up items you own. SL
(Green Lake Park, Green Lake)


Northwest Tea Festival Past Event List
Channel your inner Uncle Iroh at the thirteenth edition of this two-day festival dedicated to all things tea, from "from the cultural to the historical and the sensory to the scientific." Whether you're a casual tea fan or a devoted aficionado, you're invited to enjoy samples, presentations from noted tea experts, and browse teas and teaware for sale. JB
(Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, Uptown)


Black & Loud Fest Past Event List
Black & Loud Fest is back and bigger than ever. All three stages of the Crocodile will be taken over by a genre- and globe-spanning lineup of over 20 Black-fronted bands. Highlights include world-renowned bassist Nik West (who has played with heavies like Prince, Quincy Jones, and Dave Stewart), British post-punk trio Big Joanie, Canadian punk band the OBGMs, Seattle's own King Youngblood, and more. The one-day fest is also packing in a word poetry slam, a freestyle rap cypher, and a boozy Jack Daniels tasting. AV
(The Crocodile, Belltown)

Bushwick Book Club: E.B. White's "Charlotte’s Web" Past Event List
The Bushwick Book Club isn't some stuffy after-school program—they're a collective of badass local musicians who also happen to be avid readers. For the opening night of their 2023-24 season, the ensemble will perform original songs inspired by E.B. White's whimsical barnyard tear-jerker Charlotte's Web. TW: prepare yourself to bid farewell to one of the novel's beloved characters. AV
(Town Hall Seattle, First Hill)


Behind the Seams: Knitwear Past Event List
You know what's going to become a lot more important to you in a month or two? Sweaters. Knitwear in general, really—cardigans, mittens, hats, the whole lot. MOHAI's curator of collections, Clara Berg, is ahead of the seasonal curve, pulling funky knit garments from the museum's archives for visitors to view in close-knit, one-hour sessions. You'll peep everything from knitted bathing suits to winter wear, with French designers, Seattle manufacturers, and other rarities on display. LC
(MOHAI, South Lake Union)



Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer, and Shahzad Ismaily Past Event List
New York-based Pakistani singer-songwriter Arooj Aftab blends traditional Sufi devotional poetry with gentle folk guitar and ambient elements that perfectly cradle her ethereal voice. On her newest project, Love in Exile, Aftab collaborated with multi-instrumentalists Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily for a haunting meditation about "self-exile, and the search for freedom and identity, and finding it through love and music" (per press materials). With the album's atmospheric electronics, neo-classical piano melodies, and heavenly vocals, it will surely sound just as magical live. AV
(Neptune Theatre, University District)

CHAI: We The Chai Tour Past Event List
Much like their namesake, Japanese four-piece pop band CHAI is a sweet, slightly spicy delight. With songs like "Maybe Chocolate Chips" and "Donuts Mind If I Do," their lyrics are cheeky yet poignant, with an overall goal to "deconstruct the standards of beauty and cuteness that can be so oppressive in Japan." Their live shows are known to include lively choreography and extravagant matching outfits. With an opening set from Utah-based weirdo-pop star 26fix, you won't want to miss this one, folks. AV
(Tractor Tavern, Ballard)



Meowga - Yoga with Cats Remind List
If you're anything like the EverOut staff, the phrase "yoga with cats" definitely perked up your ears. It's true: You can practice yoga alongside stretchy felines in Seattle Meowtropolitan's cat lounge, which up to 25 kitties from Regional Animal Services of King County call home. It's better than doing another Yoga with Adriene video in your house pants. The all-levels Hatha class is adaptive and focused on the breath, so you'll leave feeling more peaceful, and probably a little more covered in cat hair. Win-win, in my opinion. LC
(Seattle Meowtropolitan, Wallingford, Tuesday, Saturday-Sunday)


Fremont Oktoberfest 2023 Past Event List
Break out the dirndls and lederhosen in celebration of "Seattle's largest beer festival," where you can taste over 100 German and domestic craft beers (excuse us, "biers") and feast on Bavarian-style food like bratwurst and warm pretzels, in addition to a lineup of food trucks such as Dumpling Tzar, Woodshop BBQ, Fremont Mischief, and Pike Place Nuts. You'll also find games like stein hoisting and "Texas chainsaw pumpkin carving," pups in costumes during the special Dogtoberfest day (Sunday), a DJ tower with a dance floor, a "street scramble" scavenger hunt, and more throughout the streets of Fremont. JB
(Fremont Oktoberfest, Fremont, Friday-Sunday)

MEXAM NW Festival 2023 Remind List
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from mid-September to mid-October, a time during which many Latin American countries celebrate their national independence days. MEXAM NW Festival 2023 is an exhilarating multi-event, multi-venue festival curated by the Consulate of Mexico in Seattle that showcases the vibrancy of contemporary Hispanic and Mexican American culture. The festival concludes mid-October with a Día de los Muertos Concert and Festival Latinx. Most events are free and family-oriented, from a talk on the history of tacos to a parade through South Park, and much more. Expect tons of Latin American food, mariachi bands, folk dancing, arts and craft markets, fiestas, and community joy. SL
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)

Washington State Fair 2023 Past Event List
What's summer without beer-fueled outdoor concerts, quilt and flower displays, impressive vegetables, baby bunnies, and a "SillyVille" farm experience complete with animatronic chickens?! Close out the sunny season in the most all-American way possible at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, where you'll find everything from produce contests to a real-deal cowboy rodeo. You can catch Babyface, Styx, and other household names throughout the month. LC
(Washington State Fair Events Center, Puyallup, Monday-Sunday)


Bottoms Remind List
Considering the glut of raunchy high school sex comedies that revolved around hetero teen boys attempting to pop their cherries in the '90s and early-aughts, it's about time we had a horny romp about queer girls trying to get laid. In this madcap dark comedy helmed by Emma Seligman (director of the nail-biter Shiva Baby), two hapless losers (played by Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri) scheme to start a self-defense club for women in order to hook up with their cheerleader crushes (Havana Rose Liu and Kaia Gerber). Naturally, hilarity ensues. It's Book Smart meets Fight Club with acerbic shades of Heathers, and I for one can't wait to see Seligman's sapphic Gen-Z take on this campy genre, especially with the two leads' deadpan delivery. JB
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, Monday-Thursday)

Fremont Past Event List
A film in which the most "exciting" thing to happen is that someone goes for a drive, Fremont is a gem of small storytelling that becomes deceptively vast the longer you sit with it. It is as patient as it is playfully poetic. Showcasing a delightfully deadpan debut performance from Anaita Wali Zada as the young Donya, a worker for a fortune cookie factory trying to find happiness in the loneliness of San Francisco, it previously showed at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival though is now getting a wide release. The film is all about the beautiful simplicity of a life being rebuilt where humor and heartbreak are woven into the fabric of every frame that gently builds to something more quietly revelatory yet still no less profound. Oh, and for those of you fellow On Cinema heads out there, it also sees the magnificent Gregg Turkington sharing some of the most wonderful scenes with Zada that you’ll see all year. STRANGER CONTRIBUTOR CHASE HUTCHINSON
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, Monday-Thursday)

26th Annual Local Sightings Film Festival Past Event List
Back in 2015, Stranger senior staff writer Charles Mudede wrote, "What is this city becoming? What have we lost in the rush and thrust of all these new developments? To whom does this growing city belong? The brilliant Local Sightings Film Festival will show films that reveal the answers to these questions, through features, shorts, and animation that are born here or hereabouts. There's much to see and much to talk about." The premise of the hybrid festival hasn't changed much since then—Local Sightings will return for its 26th anniversary this year, offering up another round of curated screenings and transforming the city into a hub for indie filmmakers who forgo New York or LA for the Pacific Northwest's endearing eccentricity. The always-great, hyperlocal film festival also offers opportunities for regional filmmakers, emotional storytellers, and documentarians to meet-cute at the festival's events. I'm intrigued by the two-day found footage workshop, the short film program by "nonbinary trans and queer myth builders" Scumtrust, and the opening feature, Fantasy A Gets a Mattress, starring local legend Fantasy A. LC
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, Tuesday-Sunday)

They Came From Outer Space Remind List
I recommend queuing up some creepy spaceship sounds before you continue reading. Are you sufficiently on edge? You can keep those galactic bleep-bloop vibes going at They Came from Outer Space, SIFF's new series of mysterious lights, eerie shadows, and otherworldly entities ranging from the yucky and scary (The Blob) to the precious and loveable (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). It's about aliens, people, and they're crash-landing at SIFF Cinema Egyptian all September long. Get into the "non-human biologics" while they're still, uh, kinda unproven. LC
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill, Monday-Sunday)


Disney's The Little Mermaid Remind List
My first memory of dancing is in my childhood living room, where I wiggled haphazardly to steel drum tunes on The Little Mermaid's supplementary VHS, Sebastian's Caribbean Jamboree. If you're of the millennial or Gen Z persuasion, you probably also have some core memories related to the Disney animated flick, which turns 35 this year. (Insert a "you're old" joke here, I guess.) Anywho, scuttle on over to the 5th Avenue Theatre for this rendition of the musical, which sees all your faves jam out under the sea. There'd better be steel drums! LC
(The 5th Avenue Theatre, Downtown, Wednesday-Sunday)

Dog Man: The Musical Remind List
Dog Man, the dog-slash-policeman invented by cartoonist Dav Pilkey and beloved by kiddos everywhere, will head to the stage for more crime-biting, furniture-chewing, and defending the city from cyborg fish and evil genius kitties. (Listen, ACAB, but we'll make an exception for the musical mutt.) LC
(Seattle Children's Theatre, Uptown, Saturday-Sunday)

The Forgotten History of Mastaneh Past Event List
Set in an all-girls high school in post-Revolution Iran, playwright and director Naghmeh Samini's The Forgotten History of Mastaneh's story unfolds as the Iran-Iraq War begins to impact three young people's lives. The one-weekend-only production "tells the story of the reality of so many young women in Iran, women who are striving for normalcy and are finding their inner truth and freedom." It was co-produced by Seda Iranian Theatre Ensemble, Seattle's first Iranian theater company. LC
(Seattle Public Theater, Green Lake, Friday-Sunday)

Matt & Ben Remind List
Long before Chasing Amy, J-Lo, and Air, two Hollywood rapscallions watched the screenplay for Good Will Hunting descend mysteriously from the heavens, and realized they were being tested by a higher power. Although their careers and lives would diverge, one being more of a golden boy and the other being...well...Ben Affleck, their friendship persevered. Matt & Ben is an acidic satire that spoofs the duo's pursuit of a red-carpet dream, and the playwright understood the assignment—she's Mindy Kaling, so she's been on a red carpet or 20. LC
(ArtsWest, Junction, Thursday-Sunday)

Petite Mort Remind List
Pacific Northwest Ballet's season opener promises "as much whimsy, artistry, and drama as possible," which is also what I'm going for with my Instagram stories. I'm guessing that PNB will do a better job than I do, though: This performance's triple bill packs a punch with Jiri Kylian’s Petite Mort and Sechs Tänze, both returning after a long hiatus, and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti. The latter, a "gleeful and knowing parody of the art form’s greater excesses," incorporates giant Scrabble tiles and, yes, cacti. Don't get poked! LC
(McCaw Hall, Uptown, Friday-Sunday)


Cathy McClure and John Kiley Remind List
If you're still feeling bitter that you didn't receive a Furby for Christmas in '98, I recommend Cathy McClure's exhibition Unearth for some strange catharsis. Using discarded battery-operated stuffed toys, the artist contemplates consumption, nostalgia, and instant gratification by creating freakish, Frankensteinian "bots." The figures are recast and reassembled with precious metal armatures that reportedly exude "wisdom and contemplation." I guess you'll have to decide for yourself what they exude, but any way you look at 'em, they are awesome. Unearth is perfectly paired with John Kiley's Studio Sessions, which is comprised of sculptural glass works with "contrasting colors [and] intricate carved optic passageways." LC
(Traver Gallery, Downtown, Tuesday-Saturday)

Femme Noire Remind List
This outdoor public art exhibition, a collaboration between the Seattle Art Museum, the Chicago-based arts organization blackpuffin, and the Central District's immersive community art project Wa Na Wari, takes its name from a poem of the same name by former Senegalese president Léopold Sédar Senghor, an ode to the power of Black women written while he was imprisoned in Germany during World War II. Wander through the Central District to admire work from female artists from Africa and the African diaspora, installed on lamp poles and at Black-owned businesses and art organizations throughout the neighborhood. JB
(Various locations, Monday-Sunday)

Matt Gagnon: Space for Not Knowing Remind List
Matt Gagnon's lanky, vessel-like sculptures, "light stacks," and volcanic mortar-based works come together in Space for Not Knowing, a new solo show that denotes his serious material sensibility. The LA-based artist "combines intuition and planning across diverse articulations of architectural space," exploring senses of containment, shuttered and opened spaces, and emotional components of color and light with a meditative, yet precise approach. I'm most intrigued by Gagnon's material use—the works in Space for Not Knowing are an unexpected blend of poplar wood, concrete, gold leaf, mortar, felt, and more. LC
(Winston Wächter Fine Art, South Lake Union, Tuesday-Saturday)

Of a Place Remind List
Presented as a "portrait of Washington State’s diverse landscapes, topography, ecosystems, and climates," Of a Place also functions as a round-up of some of contemporary art's most exciting nature-loving players. Inspired by the mid-19th-century American art movement the Hudson River School, which "presented America as a new Eden and equated American landscape with American identity," the show meditates on place, identity, and art practice in Washington State through drawings, paintings, ceramics, textiles, and more. I'm especially moved by Philippe Hyojung Kim's Immigration Series: "deICEd", and I'm excited to see works by quinn mcnichol and Rena Priest. LC
(SOIL, Pioneer Square, Friday-Sunday)

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