Arts & Entertainment

Be my indie-rock Valentine: Live Shows in Tacoma

A great opportunity to get dressed up and dance your heart out.

This Valentine’s Day, skip the chaos of finding last-minute reservations and opt for an affordable and memorable experience: live shows. The stunning and timeless McMenamins Spanish Ballroom and the newly rebranded, chic ALMA Venue each have lounges, bars and restaurants that will make your night a one-stop, highly photographable experience. Check out the best of Tacoma’s live music scene with these four alternative, folk, rock and pop bands that will keep you and your valentine dancing all night long.

Deep Sea Diver: 

With danceable hits like “Impossible Weight (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)” and “Lights Out,” the Seattle pop-rock group will fill the ALMA Venue with melodic, delayed guitar riffs and echoing vocals. Playing two nights in Tacoma as a part of their West Coast tour, the band has recently received a lot of recognition as their KEXP in-studio performance hit 70,000 views and their most recent album, “Impossible Weight” was voted KEXP Listener’s Top Album of 2020. Guaranteed to put on an amazing and ethereal show, Deep Sea Diver is a band you don’t want to miss. 

February 10 and 11 at ALMA Venue, All Ages

The Dodos with Buoy and Colonies: 

ALMA Venue is hosting a night of top-notch indie, bringing San Francisco-based band, The Dodos, to Tacoma. With gorgeous acoustic guitar tones and a strong beat, The Dodos are known for quality singalong songs that transport you to a Wes Anderson-esque dreamscape, like their song “Walking.” Colonies, a Tacoma-based band, features soaring synth sounds in their older works, while their new song “Turn My Heart to Fire” is a dancy, modern indie pop tune that will get stuck in your head for a week. This will undoubtedly be a show filled with heavenly sounds and catchy hooks.

February 12 at ALMA Venue, All Ages

Kunika with Erin Rae & The Heartbeets: 

Kunika is an eclectic mix of folk rock and dancy pop-rock that will include everything from electronic drums to a mandolin or harmonica. The Seattle-based band is known for their amazing four-part harmonies and wide range of genres. Well-paired with the Americana-pop group, Erin Rae and The Heartbeets, this night is branded as their “V Day Celebration.” These groups will bring a joyful and fun energy to the Spanish Ballroom at McMenamins Elks Temple. 

February 12 at Spanish Ballroom, 21+


If your Valentine wants something with a little more edge, head over to The New Frontier Lounge for an ALMA-presented show of the up-and-coming Tacoma band, Enumclaw. Branded as “the best band since Oasis,” Enumclaw is fresh off their U.S. tour and the release of their EP, “Jimbo Demo.” Bringing distorted tones and intense ennui, the band’s sound is reminiscent of shoegaze and alternative rock bands like Swervedriver and Sonic Youth. Listen to some of their hits, the sparkly “Fast N All” and energetic “Free Drop Billy,” to prep for their Tacoma show. 

February 10 at The New Frontier Lounge, 21+

Beyond these venues, the antique row next to McMenamins is stunning at night, along with the iconic Spanish Steps. A short walk away is The Mix, an LGBTQ+ bar with Saturday night drag shows and daily karaoke to keep the night going. The ALMA Patio also offers a number of attractions, including art installations by local makers and a heated outdoor dining space. Enjoy the best of Tacoma’s live music scene this Valentine’s Day by seeing a show you’ll never forget. 

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