Written by: Shay Coulson | Photo(s) by: Ethan Decker
City Weekly’s “Best Of” Series Showcases The Best Of Utah’s Music Scene
City Weekly has been Utah’s source for independent news and in-depth journalism for decades, and one of reader’s favorite annual traditions is the Best of Utah poll!
Best of Utah allows readers to vote on their favorite people, places, and things that are uniquely local to Utah. Each year, the poll has nearly 400 categories for people to vote on, from best museum to best snow cones! Not only does this yearly tradition allow Utahn’s to show their love to their favorite local spots, it provides support and exposure for local and small businesses. This year, eight of the categories featured local artists and venues, giving credit to those who go above and beyond to create the best experiences for fans!
BEST 2022 CONCERT: GARTH BROOKS
Runner Ups: Alanis Morrisette and Das Energi
If you know Utahn’s, you know they love Garth. Last year and this year, his tour at Rice-Eccles sold out in minutes, and he even added a second day this year to show a little extra love to his fans. As Friday’s show ended, Brooks told the crowd, “I love you, Utah, thank you for taking care of me.”
BEST LOCAL PERFORMER: TAMARA KNIGHT
Runner Ups: Jason CoZmo and Pixie & The Partygrass Boys
Experienced “science nerd,” James Banks is also known as a pop star, lip-syncing queen by the name of Tamara Knight. Banks is a resident at Why Kiki bar and has also participated at the Utah Pride Festival celebration. Make sure you keep an eye out for Banks and follow him online @thetamaraknight on Instagram!
BEST INDOOR VENUE: THE DEPOT
Runner Ups: Metro Music Hall and Red Butte Amphitheater
The Depot has a knack for satisfying music fans of all genres and categories, from dance music to throwbacks, to rock n roll. Combine a great space with good sound, friendly staff and some solid drinks, and you’ve got yourself a venue that can’t be stopped. Check out The Depot’s upcoming shows here.
BEST OUTDOOR VENUE: RED BUTTE GARDEN AMPHITHEATER
Runner Ups: USANA Amphitheatre and Sandy Amphitheater
The Red Butte Outdoor Concert Series is a spectacle for the senses. Surrounded by beautiful nature, with the mountains on the horizon, fans have the luxury of experiencing live music in a uniquely-Utah format. We’re already looking forward to next season’s lineup!
BEST ALL AGES VENUE: RED BUTTE GARDEN AMPHITHEATER
Runner Ups: Hogel Zoo and Kilby Court
Not only does Red Butte offer an exceptional concert series experience, it’s one that is fit for the whole family! With ample lawn space to enjoy the music, fans can lounge on blankets and lawn chairs with their entire families. Name a better way to spend a summer night!
BEST NIGHTCLUB FOR LIVE MUSIC: METRO MUSIC HALL
Runner Ups: Why Kiki and Urban Lounge
With a diverse selection of live music, dance parties, alternative lifestyle celebrations, and more, it’s no wonder Metro Music Hall has climbed its way to the top in the nightlife scene in the city. Check out the venue’s upcoming event calendar here.
BEST DJ: BANGARANG
Runner Ups: DJ Dirty Dave and DJ Testify
You don’t have to be involved in the nightlife around town to know the name Bangarang. Not only is he a frequent flyer at some of the city’s hottest night clubs, but he also can be found around The University of Utah’s campus, bringing his legendary beats to sporting events throughout the year. Follow him on Instagram to keep up with his lively schedule at @bangarangthedj.
BEST DANCE CLUB: WHY KIKI
Runner Ups: M I L K + and Area 51
This little downtown gem of a bar is best known (and liked) because here, you can be whoever you want to be. Not only does the island theme have it’s own charming aspect to it, adding to the ambiance, but the patrons in attendance know that they are accepted for who they are, regardless of how they identify, and everyone is there strictly to have a good time. Whether you go for the silent disco, the Saturday theme nights, the fish-bowl drinks, or just to see what it’s all about, there really is something for everyone at Why Kiki.
To check out all the categories and winners of this year’s Best Of poll, visit City Weekly’s website here.