Live Music at Salt Lake City's Urban Lounge
[caption id="attachment_6777" align="aligncenter" width="350" caption="Phantogram at Urban Lounge | October 29, 2011"][/caption]
For most locals, 'urban' is not the first word that comes to mind when describing Salt Lake City to outsiders. In fact, that is one of the things I love most about living in Salt Lake City: it's manageable downtown area; the stress-free, logical, and easily navigable grid the surrounding roads have been laid upon.
However, step foot inside the Urban Lounge, and you are transported into a dimly lit, sparsely decorated, hip, warehouse-like music venue that one would expect to find in a much more 'urban' city. The ambiance is definitely 'no-frills.' The bar cannot not boast the most powerful sound system, state of the art lighting, garish stage setups, or flat screen TV's. But that's not what the Urban Lounge is about.
What it is about is attracting the best indie lineup in town, and offering locals (and visitors) quality live music at a reasonable price almost every night of the week. The drinks are also reasonably priced and the bartenders aren't flashing skin for tips, unlike some other concert venues in town.
I often catch shows at Urban Lounge, and Saturday night a large group of friends donned our respective Halloween costumes and rocked out to Phantogram. Some critics may complain about the lack of a flawless sound system, but where else can you walk right up to the edge of the stage, without a barricade or security guard, and practically lean into your favorite musicians? No other legitimate music venue in Salt Lake City, that's for sure. (Kilby Court may be the only exception, however, that venue is also managed by Salt Lake City locals Lance Saunders and Will Sartain, so many parallels exist.)
Bottom line: If you're looking to catch an intimate indie rock show without spending big bucks, stop by the Urban Lounge. You can expect to see many local, music loving, hipsters in their element. Sometimes Urban Lounge even attracts more popular, mainstream music acts. Those nights will be very, very crowded. I suggest wearing a t-shirt–even when it's cold outside, it will be toasty and sweaty inside. And prepare to wait a few minutes for bar service on busy nights. But you really can't complain when their Coors Light 'big cups' are one of the best deals in town ($4). In general the bartenders are friendly and efficient. Bonus points.
Urban Lounge is located at 241 South 500 East near downtown Salt Lake City. It is conveniently situated only a few blocks away from the nearest TRAX stop. Check out their current lineup at www.theurbanloungeslc.com.
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