YOUR GUIDE TO APRÉS SKI SOUNDS
You came here to ski, but when the sun sets on the slopes you don’t have to hole up in your hotel. You're in Ski City, and there's lots of life left to be squeezed out of the day. Shed the boots, toss the goggles, and get out to see a band. Salt Lake is a popular stop for nationally touring acts, and they love to play here. There's a range of clubs to choose from, from cozy and small to loud and rowdy, so be sure to check out these venues to see who's in town when you’re in town.
This small, no-frills music club is the place to see both up-and-coming bands and icons of semi-obscure genres. The venue has hosted such acts as Living Legends, Father John Misty, Shellac, and Jolie Holland, giving music nerds a chance to see their idols up close, and it's also launched many a local music career. Touring bands inevitably return to play this small, informal space that lets you get right up front.
Urban Lounge shows start late, so no need to rush down from the mountain. The drinks are basic but reasonably priced, and if you're craving something fancier, the owners of Urban Lounge own Rye, the restaurant next door. During shows, you can pop over and grab a bite to eat and a craft cocktail and still watch the Urban Lounge stage via TVs and speakers on the walls. Pro tip: Rye offers “Free Ticket Tuesdays;” head there for dinner and get a free ticket to a show next door for every entrée you order.
241 S. 500 East
THE STATE ROOM
This space is designed to prioritize acoustics and comfort. Nothing detracts from the stage—fronted by a roomy dance floor and backed by tiered seats for those who like to have a sit. The bar is in the front of the house and is separated from the stage/floor/seating area, so you'll never be distracted by people barking drink orders. The State Room also offers a civilized coat check, an efficient bar staff, and reasonably priced drinks. This venue is only open for shows—a range of mid-level to big bands in a wonderfully intimate space that puts live music first.
The State Room
638 S. State St.
The biggest of the small clubs in Salt Lake, The Depot was designed to fill the niche above venues like Urban Lounge and The State Room and canwelcome bigger crowds. But there really isn’t a bad spot in the house. Even from the back you’ll have great sight lines to the stage, and the upper level affords great views from above. The hall has attracted the likes of Chrissey Hynde and Robert Plant, as well as Sleater-Kinney, Tame Impala, and Guster.
400 West and S. Temple
IN THE VENUE
In the Venue fills the space in Salt Lake at just above State Room’s size and a bit below the The Depot’s. In the Venue’s stage sees everything from local DJs to live acts on national tours. The likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Ratatat, Ingrid Michaelson, Katy Perry, The Shins, Pendulum, Imogen Heap, Slayer, and Modest Mouse have passed through, andits also the place to see bands or DJs you’ve never heard of (but soon will). An all-ages space, In the Venue also has some 21-and-over areas. Friday nights are Gossip, one of the best LGBT dance parties in town.
In the Venue
579 W. 200 South
This all-ages venue is an institution. A whole generation of disenfranchised Salt Lake youth found themselves at Kilby, and along the way witnessed the growth of the Salt Lake indie scene. Many major bands have passed through the Court on their way up the indie music ladder (Iron and Wine, Deathcab for Cutie, Neon Trees, Fall Out Boy), and the small space, hidden down an alley on Salt Lake City’s west side, still remains a place for youngsters to discover great new music and be a part of something larger than homework and high school. There's no booze, no seats, and the bathrooms can be tricky to find, but the firepit and feeling of having stumbled on a secret scene more than make up for it. Don’t worry, it’s not just for kids (although they are there). It is truly a unique spot to hear music.
741 S. Kilby Court
GARAGE ON BECK
This road house located in Salt Lake’s industrial district mainly catersits music lineup toward an excellent election of local bands, but some very worthwhile traveling acts have stopped by, too. It’s the kind of place that will feature a blues band on Friday, rockabilly greasers on Saturday, and a mellow alt-country singer-songwriter on Sunday. Low commitment and low stress, the Garage has an excellent food menu, plentyof tables, and a big back patio with firepits and cornhole.
Garage on Beck
1199 N. Beck St.
Basically four clubs in one, the Complex is, well, a little complex. The individually named spaces—The Grand, Rockwell, Vertigo and The Vibe—all have different feels. The Grand and Rockwell are all-ages clubs, while Vertigo and The Vibe are for music lovers old enough to drink. There's always something going on at The Complex, which really is the Salt Lake home to the electronic dance and DJ-driven performance scene, but this collection of clubs offers a varied selection of music. Be sure to browse the vast line-ups while you're in town.
536 W. 100 South
THE GREAT SALTAIR
Once a resort on the shores of the Great Salt Lake (kind of a land-locked Coney Island), the Great Saltair is now one of Salt Lake City’s great concert halls. It’s a bit of a drive, but Saltair plays host to an unexpected mix of A, B, and C list bands. The venue tends toward the rave, EDM, and nu-metal end of the music spectrum, but you might also catch The Flaming Lips or My Morning Jacket here. Saltair is an all-ages club with a bar level for the grownups, and it's truly a unique space in one of the most unique spots on Earth.
12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna, Utah
More than a record store, Diabolical Records is a community gathering space that hosts underground shows for bands who are often touring on good will and gas fumes. The shop welcomes fans of all ages who crowd in among the vinyl stacks to hear obscure math metal and conceptual hipster bands passing through from Portland to Brooklyn. This is a great spot to hear cutting-edge music for a song, as tickets are often incredibly cheap or on a donation basis. Check the store’s Facebook page for what’s up next.
238 S. Edison St.