Seattle Nightlife Makes A Comeback


Cameron Christopherson

A crowd gathers to watch Wasabi Samba perform at the Nook.

“BACK UP, BACK UP,” yelled the lead singer of King Youngblood into the crowd. He quickly became the center of attention, lighting his bright pink guitar on fire. Feedback blasted through the speakers and the crowd’s reaction shook the ground. He lifted the guitar into the air for all to see and then threw it into the crowd for a lucky audience member to take home. 

The scene took place at the end of a concert at The Nook, a local music venue frequented by Seattle University students. The venue reached its maximum capacity during that night’s concert, with hundreds of people packed into the small backyard. Despite the popularity of that particular show, it was far from the only option for people looking to go out last weekend. Nightlife is what Capitol Hill is known for, offering a plethora of busy clubs and bars dotting the neighborhood, all within walking distance of Seattle U’s campus. 

For younger students, nightlife is located in disparate corners of the city. Trinity, an 18+ nightclub downtown is a popular destination for those not yet 21, and is just a bus ride away. The club has also been a source of community controversy. Trinity was involved in a 2017 nightclub sting ending in the arrest of 17 people for serving underage decoys. At the time, City Attorney Tom Carr found the results of the sting “shocking.”

For others, underground concerts in the University District are a preferable weekend experience. 

Josslyn Chavarria, a first-year forensic psychology major, is not new to going out. Her love for live music drove her to get involved with the vibrant Seattle music community.

“My love for music is one of the reasons I came to Seattle in the first place,” Chavarria said. “When I found out about these little house shows that are happening in the U district I was like, ‘that’s more of my scene,’ as opposed to clubbing. I really want to get involved in the live music scene and really become a part of that community.” 

Some have already had nightlife experience before coming to Seattle U, but for others, like First-Year Biology major Maya Cranz, COVID-19 put a damper on their ability to socialize. 

“Before COVID I was really extroverted,” Cranz said. “But I got used to keeping to myself and to my family so acclimating after COVID has definitely been harder. Aside from nightlife, even just regaining a social life isn’t super easy. Since coming here I’ve been making a lot of friends, though, and that’s been great.” 

Other students echoed this sentiment, like Erik Hanhan, a first-year photography major who discussed the inclusiveness of the community. 

“I really thought it would be a lot harder to find people,” Hanhan said. “Especially where I’ve been, which is to a lot of small concerts in the U district, people are super welcoming. There are all types of people coming together at these shows. Last weekend I saw a group of University of Washington sorority girls talking to a group of punks. It’s really cool to see such a diverse community coming together on the weekends and just having fun and supporting local music.” 

Cranz noted that nightlife isn’t necessarily all positive, as she discussed the pros and cons of going out on the weekends. 

“I probably wouldn’t do it every weekend. I like to have nights where I just go to bed early and am able to plan out the next day,” Cranz said. “Going out definitely affects sleep and work, but it’s also really nice. I met a ton of people and it’s really important for people to have a healthy social life. It’s all about finding a balance.”

EDM dance nights at local clubs, Trinity for the younger crowd, sports at Cal Anderson field and local music in U District provide a wide range of options for people looking to go out, make new friends and join a community. Students carve out space for themselves in the neighborhoods surrounding Seattle U every weekend, and make a unique impression upon the financial and cultural landscape of the city.