Venues Across the Valley


Ben Mccleery

Music Venues in Salt Lake City, UT on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. (Photo by Ben MCcleery/ Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Madge Slack

Music is important. Whether you listen via Spotify, Pandora, iTunes or YouTube, everyone listens to music. And if you don’t actively seek it out, you still listen to music on TV shows and movies. Music influences your thoughts, emotions and mood. If you don’t believe me, go watch a horror movie with no sound. The best way to hear music is to listen to it live, whether it is classical or heavy metal.

Concerts can cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to under $10, and they happen in all different kinds of venues with different vibes. This is a great date idea because it is distracting enough not to leave an awkward silence, but you can always find a booth in the back if things get steamy. Most venues will have food options for sale, so you get out of paying for a whole dinner, but you don’t have to starve. Some also have alcoholic drinks for those old enough to consume them, just in case you need a little liquid courage. All venues have websites with upcoming shows and links to buy tickets. Think about checking out these venues for a fun evening of music.

Abravanel Hall

For Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart aficionados and the like, Abravanel Hall is the place for you. They play the classics by the greats with multiple full orchestras. Don’t be fooled by the outwardly stiff lipped appearance, however, they perform a lot of film scores such as “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars.” Sometimes they project images and words onto the massive stage backdrop to accompany the music. It can be quite a show. Tickets start at $10. This is an all ages venue.

Red Butte Garden

Red Butte Garden hosts cool events year round. However, the time for music lovers is summer when it has its annual concert series. It is outdoors and you can pack whatever you want. Take a bottle of wine or soda and some snacks and settle in. There is no seating, just grass, so I recommend bringing a chair or two or a cuddly blanket. Red Butte also constructs an eclectic season with bands from all over the world. All ages are welcome. Be sure to get your tickets early, as they sell out fast. If you can’t get tickets, you can hear the music all the way from the University of Utah dorms.

Vivint Smart Home Arena

This is probably one of the biggest venues in Utah, but I haven’t personally measured it so I could be wrong. The Vivint Smart Home Arena draws big name performers like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and P!nk. The concessions serve all the junk food you could ever want, including my personal favorite, Dippin’ Dots. Tickets to these shows can be expensive and there is no student discount, but in the past it has been worth it. All ages can attend here, just don’t lose the little ones in the crowd.

The Complex

This is a versatile venue that draws well known bands. With four different areas inside, there are options for every age group. There is an all ages venue with a 21 plus section that serves drinks, and it has a large dance floor. There is even a concession area that serves snacks and drinks in the lobby. While this is certainly not the smallest venue, it is not huge and it often gets packed to the brim on weekends. Tickets for these shows range from $10 to around $50.

The State Room

The State Room has it all, with a retro feel. Here you can go see newer, edgier bands for around $30. There is a bar and concessions area where you can get things like beer and candy. Tickets are relatively cheap and there is both sitting and standing room. Whatever fits your fancy.

Kilby Court

This venue is all ages, but it has a distinctive young, hipster vibe. It is pretty small and people are often smoking around the exterior. The venue hosts a wide range of bands from local artists to tours, country and rock. Tickets start at around $10 here, too.

Whatever your taste, check out some new music or enjoy your old favorites downtown. You never know what you might discover.

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