The last five years or so it seemed like Salt Lake was cycling through a lot of different venues, they would just come and go within a few months. As of this year we have a strong roster of venues to choose from; including the intimate and small Kilby Court, The Complex, which actually houses four different venues in one large building just a block west of the Gateway Mall, and In the Venue (one of Salt Lake’s longest running venues), Saltair isn’t a heavy hitter but is worthy of mentioning, The Depot housed in the historic Union Pacific Station and one of the newer venues The State Room. The major leaguers are: Energy Solutions Arena, USANA amphitheater, The Gallivan Center and the Sandy amphitheater, along with all the various bars and clubs that offer events for out of town DJs and/or local acts.
In addition to offering a variety of venues, Salt Lake attracts and offers a surprising variety of music. Whether you sway towards hip hop and rap, country or rock, you’ll find it in Salt Lake. Hip hop and rap listeners can look forward to attending U92’s Summer Jam 2011 concert that is taking place on July 30 at the Gallivan Center with the afterparty being held at The Complex. Country music enthusiasts can look forward to a variety of acts coming to town this year including Billy Dean, Tim McGraw, Sugarland, Rascal Flatts and the new country sweetheart Taylor Swift.
Salt Lake has a really strong ‘rock music’ scene, to clarify ‘rock music’ is used as a blanket term that includes many sub-genres that are closely related but can seem vastly different such as blues rock and heavy metal, grunge and indie rock, pop rock and hardcore punk, emo and folk rock. Salt Lake is unique in creating and hosting a free summer concert series held Thursday nights at Pioneer Park. Most of the main acts this year at the series can be classified under rock with reference to their sub-genres.
The upcoming bands and dates for the series are Thurston Moore on Aug. 4, Bright Eyes on Aug. 11, Ghostland Observatory on Aug. 18 and the only non-rock act of the series Lupe Fiasco on Aug. 25. Find more information on the bands/acts on the Twilight Concert Series website.
The biggest event for rock music listeners is the annual Vans Warped Tour being held on Aug. 6 at the Utah State Fair Grounds. Warped Tour is usually considered a ‘punk-rock’ summer festival but this year, in addition to the 60 plus bands performing, you can expect to see Yelawolf, Mojo Morgan, MC Lars with Weerd Science and Gym Class Heroes at this year’s event. Just don’t forget to bring sunscreen and a sealed bottle of water.
Other than the free concert series and Warped Tour, rock music spectators can pay to see the many touring packages coming to Salt Lake this year such as Scream the Prayer tour on July 28, We The Kings tour on Aug. 10, All Time Low tour on Aug. 18 and finishing off the summer, the 2011 Honda Civic Tour featuring Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance on Sept. 3.
There are many other smaller tour packages coming so check up with your favorite bands or screen Smithtix or Ticketmaster to see who is coming. Hint: Adele was rescheduled to play at the Gallivan Center on Aug. 21. In order to keep Salt Lake vibrant, go out and see a concert with a friend. Ticket prices are usually worth the price to see the artists perform your favorite songs and maybe you’ll become introduced to an opening act you would’ve never heard of before.