A guide to Salt Lake City's live music scene

Photos by Rachel Robertson

Photos by Rachel Robertson

Are you new to Salt Lake City and looking for some spots to listen to live music? Look no further.

 

The Depot

The Depot is one of Salt Lake’s bigger music venues, built out of the old Union Pacific Train Station.

There are two floors, each with plenty of standing space, seating and a full bar. Because of its size, The Depot usually hosts larger-name artists and tickets can become proportionately expensive.

Shows can range anywhere from $15–$75 and can be either 21+ or all-ages admittance, so be sure to check online before you buy your tickets at depotslc.com


Urban Lounge

Urban Lounge is a medium-sized, 21+ venue in downtown Salt Lake that hosts various kinds of artists and DJs.

Between the full bar, patio and dance floor, there are plenty of different options to enjoy the music in any way you like. Here, you will find artists which have achieved some level of commercial success, usually alternative bands that have managed to round up a significant amount of fans.

Over the past few years, Urban Lounge hosted a variety of different, critically acclaimed artists from the independent music scene such as Flying Lotus, Washed Out, Neon Indian, and Toro Y Moi.  If you often find music from pitchfork.com or other indie review sites, this is the venue for you.

Tickets here are relatively cheap, usually no more expensive than $25.

Urban Lounge is also one of the only music venues in Salt Lake that consistently hosts free show. So, if you are looking to see some live music on a budget, skim Urban Lounge’s calendar for free performances and events at theurbanloungeslc.com.


In the Venue

In the Venue is a mid-size, moderately priced venue just a few blocks west of downtown. The shows are primarily all ages, but there is a full bar available for those 21 and up.

Most of In the Venue’s artists tend to be more on the hardcore side, but there have also been a handful of pop or indie rock artists featured in recent years.

The spacious floor beneath the stage is most often packed with excited crowds looking to dance or thrash around. If you’re not afraid to get a few bruises and leave with ringing in your ears, In the Venue is for you. Check them out at inthevenueslc.com.


The Complex

The Complex is a moderately large, warehouse style venue across the street from The Gateway Mall.

The music scene really varies here, putting up pretty much any genre or artist who can sell tickets. From a facilities standpoint, The Complex has all the bells and whistles one would expect from a large-sized venue, but lacks an intimate atmosphere.

If an artist you like is playing here, get to the venue early for a good spot or you might get stuck watching the performance from behind the masses.

Ticket prices and age restrictions vary significantly depending on the show. See who’s playing at thecomplexslc.com.


Garage on Beck

The Garage on Beck is pretty much everything you would expect from the name.

It’s a tiny, 21+ venue with a full bar and grille. The music here is exclusively blues, jazz, country and other similar genres.

The performances are almost supplementary to the restaurant, but if you enjoy these genres of music, it’s a nice place to listen to some tunes with a beer and a burger. The food is delicious, the shows are cheap and the atmosphere is very authentic. See more at garageonbeck.com.


Kilby Court

Kilby Court is a small, all-ages venue that features indie and alternative bands at cheap prices.

The venue itself is underground and can, at times, feel cramped. The closeness can often be inductive to the intimate atmosphere, which many indie bands go for.

The booking agents at Kilby Court are notorious for hosting critically acclaimed bands before they hit mainstream. If you are at all interested in the independent music scene, I highly suggest checking out the lineup online at kilbycourt.com. 

With the average ticket price being around $10, Kilby Court is a great place for the poor college student to listen to live music.


Uprok

Technically speaking, Uprok is an apparel store. Considering how frequently it puts up live music events, it’s worth the mention. 

The shows here are strictly hip-hop and almost always local artists. If you want to enjoy some Salt Lake music straight from the source, this is the place to go. 

Since the shows are put on spontaneously by the owners of the store, there is no official calendar of events. Instead, follow them on Twitter @uprokhiphop or talk to them in person at the store to hear about upcoming events.