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An Atlas of Salt Lake's Best Concert Venues
After over a year of live music inactivity, it's time to mosh once more.
To my endless joy and excitement, concert announcements are finally filtering back into my social media feed. At long last, Salt Lake’s local music venues will open their doors once more! From unlikely hole-in-the-wall spaces to massive arenas, here are some of the premier places to catch a live show in Salt Lake.
1489 Major St E, Salt Lake City, UT
Don’t assume “The Loading Dock” is just a cutesy name for a normal venue, as I did when I first went to a show here. Located in the corner of a parking lot, The Loading Dock is, quite literally, an old dock that was once used to load packages into trucks.
It may not have many amenities; a rickety staircase and a folding table for selling merch are pretty much it. But what this venue lacks in style and size, it makes up for in intimacy! Where else could you enjoy the energy and unity of being packed into a small space with two hundred of your closest friends, and/or catch the rush of hanging off a staircase railing as it shakes from the thrum of the bass? Best of all, there’s no backstage area. If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to mingle with the artists you came to see while they’re waiting for their set to begin.
Upcoming Shows at The Loading Dock
Don’t miss The Loading Dock’s Pride 2021 kickoff event in early June!
748 W Kilby Ct, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Slightly larger than The Loading Dock, but by no means a large venue, Kilby Court captures the intimacy of a classic basement or garage show. Kilby is known across the city as “the longest running all-ages venue in Salt Lake.” It consists of a handful of small buildings: a tiny ticket booth, a small walkthrough where you can buy and sell merch, and a larger garagelike area where up-and-coming bands can perform. Several unique touches, such as stickers on the walls and windows from bands that have performed there in the past, set Kilby apart and testify to its history as the place that brought live music to Salt Lake.
Kilby also contributes to the music world via their independent record label, Kilby Records. Since 2007, Kilby Records has offered local musicians the chance to get their work out into the world! To learn more about their artists and support the label, check out the “Kilby Records” playlist on Spotify.
Upcoming Shows at Kilby Court
Kilby will host several benefit shows in the coming months. Visit their website to learn more.
13 N 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
The Depot is nestled in the middle of the historic Union Pacific station in downtown Salt Lake. With its sleek black and red design accented by brown brick, as well as its classic movie theater-style marquee out front, the venue blends beautifully into the surrounding architecture! It sits within arm’s reach of the Gateway Mall, conveniently close to some of the city’s finest dining and shopping options.
This 1,200-capacity venue is a whopping four stories tall. More adventurous concertgoers are welcome to hang out on the main floor, which (depending on the show) comes alive with push pits and moshing as soon as the lights cut and the music begins. If you’re feeling less adventurous, the upper-level balconies offer great views of the stage in a calmer and more relaxed setting. Ticket upgrades, such as premium seating and concierge services, are also available for select shows.
Upcoming Shows at The Depot
536 W 100 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
The Complex is one of Salt Lake’s largest live music spots. But interestingly, it’s not one venue, but three! The Complex’s main building is divided into two indoor performance spaces: The Grand and Rockwell. A third performance space, aptly named The Lot, hosts outdoor shows in the parking lot during the summer.
Contrary to what the name suggests, The Grand is the smaller of The Complex’s two indoor venues. The Grand can hold approximately 850 people within 4,500 square feet of space. It’s outfitted with a large stage, an LED lighting system, and a high-powered sound system, all of which combine to offer fully immersive live music experiences. Its larger counterpart, Rockwell, boasts a square footage of 16,500 feet and a standing capacity of about 2,500 people. These two rooms are separated by a common lobby area where you can visit the restroom, shop for merch, and/or buy food and drinks at the large concession stand.
Upcoming Shows at The Complex
5150 Upper Ridge Rd, West Valley City, UT 84118
I’ve lived in Salt Lake City long enough to say that no summer is complete without at least one show at USANA Amphitheater. (That being the case, you can only imagine how rough summer 2020 was…if you can call it a summer at all.) This one hundred percent outdoor venue features 7,000 reserved seats, as well as 13,000 budget-friendly lawn seat options.
No matter where you’re sitting, you’ll get a great view thanks to the two massive screens flanking the amphitheater stage. The amphitheater also offers multiple add-on amenities, such as premium parking right near the front gates and upgraded, comfortable seating options for both reserved seats and the lawn. And if you get hungry during the show, stop by any of the multiple concession stands for traditional favorites like hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, as well as more unique flavors like rice bowls and kebabs.
Upcoming Shows at USANA Ampitheatre
301 S Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Vivint Smart Home Arena (or “Vivint”) hosts Utah’s own NBA team, the Utah Jazz. But it’s also a favorite spot for concerts, comedy shows, and other performances from some of the biggest names in show business! The arena is equipped to handle dramatic show elements, such as lasers, fog, and flames, for a robust and memorable show you’re sure to love.
Thanks to its convenient downtown location, this venue is easily accessible from multiple parking garages, as well as the Utah TRAX high speed rail. Vivint seats nearly 20,000 people across both seated and standing options. Even the budget seats offer a great view thanks to the massive, multi-sided screens positioned around the stage! And as Salt Lake’s premier live entertainment venue, Vivint offers several food options, from classics like Chick-fil-A and Dippin Dots to local favorites like J-Dawgs and Cupbop.
Upcoming Shows at Vivint Smart Home Arena
Here’s to an exciting summer of live music! Which show(s) are you looking forward to the most?