As we approach the end of the semester (and our inevitable midterms), we could all use some much needed stress-relief. Lately, I have been turning to attending concerts and seeing musicians play live in order to escape the stresses from schoolwork…and you can too. The Salt Lake area offers several exciting venues to see live music, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are my top 5 favorite venues to get you started.
5. The Vivint Smart Home Arena
As the largest venue on this list, the Vivint Arena has a capacity of 18,300. This venue typically brings in larger artists, including Taylor Swift, Drake, Ariana Grande, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, and more! Although this venue focuses on larger artists, it does not discriminate when it comes to the genre of music. Because this venue is so large, many other types of events utilize the space, most notably, Utah Jazz home games are hosted here. This is a fun venue to visit if you’re a fan of a popular artist, but when it comes to the concert experience, you typically have to spend a lot of money to have a chance at a decent view of the artist. Look here for a list of upcoming artists at Vivint.
4. The Velour Live Music Gallery
This venue is stretching the term “SLC” to the greater Salt Lake Valley, as the Velour is located in Provo, Utah (for my out-of-state friends, Provo is about a 45-minute drive South of Salt Lake City). This venue has a capacity of 300, is all-ages, and is smoking and alcohol-free. If you arrive early at the concert, you can easily make your way to the front of the stage. This venue showcases a range of diverse musical genres, but it typically features indie, rock, and pop musicians. Here is their calendar for musicians performing in November. This venue is also noteworthy because bands such as the Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons have credited this venue as kicking off their career.
3. The Complex
The Complex is home to four venues in the heart of the Gateway area of Salt Lake City. The Grand, Rockwell, Vertigo, and Papa Wolf’s Lounge are all contained within The Complex. Vertigo and Papa Wolf’s Lounge are the two strictly 21+ venues of this building. Vertigo has a capacity of 425, and Papa Wolf’s serves as a lounge that streams that streams live music being performed in either The Grand or Rockwell.
The Grand and Rockwell are the only venues I have attended to date, but they both offer similar experiences of live music. At capacities of 850 and 2,500, respectively, these venues allow attendees to have vastly different experiences depending on their location. Mosh pits tend to form in the first third of the crowd, and the environments of the remaining spaces tend to vary depending on the artist. The Complex brings in the most diverse range of artists of this list; from indie and rock to pop and R&B, almost anyone can find a performing artist that they will enjoy. Check out all of The Complex’s upcoming events here.
2. The Depot
Less than a mile away from The Complex is The Depot. With a capacity of 1,200 and four-stories, this venue hosts mainly all-ages and standing-room-only events, but there are 21+ areas and VIP seating options available. Concerts at this venue tend to be pretty affordable, and attendees can easily get to the front of the stage if they wish to do so. With DJs, pop, rock, indie, and local music, The Depot covers a wide range of musical genres. See what events The Depot has coming up here.
1. Kilby Court
As the most intimate venue on this list, Kilby Court is easily my favorite venue. With a capacity of 200, this venue allows attendees to get up close and personal with performers. This venue is always all-ages and typically features local and touring bands. Some artists that have performed at Kilby Court in the past have included Macklemore, Foster the People, Mac Miller, Grouplove, and many more! If you want to experience a “garage band” type atmosphere, check out Kilby Court! Although it’s not guaranteed, most bands hang out in the merch shop after the performance, so you have a chance to possibly meet your favorite artists after seeing them perform. With events on almost every day of the week, Kilby Court offers countless opportunities to see great bands on an intimate level. See what they have going on this month here.
Going to concerts can be a great way to relax, enjoy music, and spend time with friends. So, if you get the chance to see an artist you love or are just craving some live music, I highly recommend visiting any one of these venues!