Best of Utah 2017 | Our annual celebration of the Best our state has to offer is here! | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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Best of Utah 2017

Our annual celebration of the Best our state has to offer is here!

Page 8 of 15


Best DJ
Bad Hair Day

Andre Adams, aka DreRawka (Dre-Rocka), aka Young Chief Chipotle, aka The Shadow of Harambe, aka Bad Hair Day chose the last handle because it was off-the-wall and relatable—not because of his kinky, untamed locks. But isn't that what we want from DJs, something that's at once different and familiar? That's what Adams—who's currently celebrating 10 years in the local party scene—offers, with seamlessly stitched mixes that turn your favorite Top 40, old school R&B and EDM songs inside out. (Randy Harward)
2nd place: Obaÿashi
3rd place: "Bad" Brad Wheeler

Best Concert of the Year
Depeche Mode at Usana Amphitheatre

Not every band can get away with a show that skips some of the most familiar hits. But while Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher brought D-Mode's Global Spirit Tour to Utah last August with a set that bypassed the likes of "Strangelove" and "Just Can't Get Enough," they still dazzled fans with old and new favorites, including an acoustic rendition of "A Question of Lust" and a rollicking finale of "Personal Jesus." (Scott Renshaw)
2. Green Day at Usana Amphitheatre
3. Iron Maiden at Usana Amphitheatre

Best Dance Company
Ballet West

For more than 50 years—founded, like the University of Utah's first-in-America ballet program, by Willam Christensen—Ballet West has given local audiences a chance to watch some of the world's greatest dancers at work. From an annual production of The Nutcracker that has become a multi-generational rite of passage, to the bold new works debuted at Innovations programs, Ballet West offers experiences showcasing the full scope of the art form. (SR)
2. Repertory Dance Theatre
3. Ririe-Woodbury Dance Co.


Best All-Ages Venue
Kilby Court

There are people enjoying Kilby Court shows now who weren't alive when Kilby Court wasn't yet around to provide a place where they could see those shows. Still going strong after 18 years, Kilby remains a place where the under-21 crowd—and their older cohorts who just know where to go for a great show—can rock out, enjoy a bonfire in the courtyard or generally just bask in the glory of being young. (SR)
741 S. Kilby Court, 800-513-7540,
2. The Complex
3. Red Butte Garden Amphitheater

Best Friend of the Arts
George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

If you've been to an arts event of any kind in Utah over the past 50 years, you've probably heard this foundation thanked, or seen its name in a program. That's because, according to a June 2017 Deseret News feature, it has bestowed more than $600 million dollars since its inception on performing arts groups like Utah Shakespeare Festival and Ballet West and arts education programs, in addition to its other charitable endeavors. The Eccles name is practically synonymous with Utah philanthropy. (SR)
2. Utah Arts Alliance
3. Cat Palmer

Best Gallery
Urban Arts Gallery

The name isn't just a pose at being "edgier" than the typical gallery; this Utah Arts Alliance venue keeps a spark of the contemporary in fine art. Whether it's the annual exhibit of Star Wars-themed art, the political expression of the 8 O'Clock in the Morning exhibition or the the multimedia pieces in Re (composed of recycled and repurposed materials), Urban Arts Gallery finds an entry point into the art world for those who might not be sure they belong there. (SR)
137 S. Rio Grande St., 801-230-0820,
2. Phillips Gallery
3. Utah Museum of Fine Art

Best Instagram feed
Sara Day's charming @local_enthusiast_slc

Launched in 2013, @local_enthusiast_slc captures the energy of someone who just adores everything about her home, whether that means a great meal at a local restaurant or an outdoors experience. "I was born and raised here," Day says via email, "and like any good Utahn, I love tasty food, good drinks, arts and crafts—and most importantly, adventuring around this glorious state." Her photos are a way to support the places she loves, and it's hard not to feel that love. (SR)
2. @iconoclad
3. @cityhomecollective

Best Live Music Venue
Red Butte Garden Amphitheater

Summer in Utah means different things to different people, but it certainly means a chance to enjoy great music in a gorgeous outdoor location like this one. Throughout the years, Utahns have been serenaded by acts like Lyle Lovett, Los Lobos, Santana and Haim with a picnic on the lawn in the up-close and personal venue. It's no wonder that the shows regularly sell out; experiences like these are too precious to pass up. (SR)
2155 Red Butte Canyon, 801-585-0556,
2. Usana Amphitheatre
3. The Depot

Best Movie Theater
Broadway Centre Theatre

There are movies that you can see anywhere, and then there are movies that you can only see here. Salt Lake Film Society's downtown anchor location devotes six screens to American independent, foreign and documentary films that help make the local cinephile scene feel like Sundance all year round. Comfortable seats and a concession stand offering more than your typical popcorn and soda make the experience just that much more pleasant. (SR)
111 E. 300 South, 801-321-0310,
2. Sugar House Cinemark Movies 10
3. Brewvies Cinema Pub


Best Museum
Natural History Museum of Utah

It would almost be worth a visit to the NHMU's Rio Tinto Center just to see its beautiful exterior, with its shimmering copper built into the hillside. But then you step inside and realize what you'd be missing: exhibits capturing the natural wonder and history of Utah, from massive reconstructed dinosaur skeletons to the history of ancient Lake Bonneville to the cultures of Utah's indigenous peoples. No matter where you look, there's something to leave you awestruck. (SR)
301 Wakara Way, 801-581-6927,
2nd place: The Leonardo
3rd place: Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Best Music Festival
Das Energi

There might have been a social-media beef between DJs Zedd and Diplo in 2016, but one event managed to bring them together. OK, technically the two dance music superstars headlined two different nights of the August festival at the Great Saltair, where more than 30 other musical acts also got crowds bumping. Then again, that's what a great music festival has the power to do: Create friends out of strangers—or even enemies—united by the power of sick beats. (SR)
2. Twilight Concert Series
3. Bonanza Campout

Best Overall Band/Group
Imagine Dragons

It's been several years since Utah has been home to Imagine Dragons, but when a local music scene gives birth to a band that now headlines arenas, it's OK to feel a bit possessive. Though co-founder Dan Reynolds has moved on from BYU and Provo to Las Vegas and super-stardom, the group that hit it big in 2012 with "It's Time" just keeps getting bigger after the release of its 2017 third album, Evolve, and Utah still loves 'em. (SR)
2. Royal Bliss
3. LHAW (Life Has A Way)


Best Piece of Public Art
Spiral Jetty

For years, Robert Smithson's epic land art creation on the Great Salt Lake was hidden from view by the water level. Now, it's possible for visitors to take in the grandeur of the 1,500-foot coil of basalt rock, and the work has become such a fixture that the Legislature designated it as the official Utah State Work of Art in March 2017. (SR)
2. Joseph Smith Sphinx at Gilgal Sculpture Garden
3. SLC Pepper Mural at 250 S. 400 West

Best Theater Company
Salt Lake Acting Co.

For many Utahns, the company is synonymous with Saturday's Voyeur, the annual musical send-up of our often-confounding local politics, religious institutions and mores. Yet that's only part of the creative picture that SLAC has been painting for nearly 50 years, providing a venue for exciting new works—including regional and world premieres—plus family-friendly holiday shows. "Something for everyone" isn't just a figure of speech here. (SR)
168 W. 500 North, 801-363-7522,
2. Pioneer Theatre Co.
3. Hale Centre Theatre

Best Visual Artist
Cat Palmer

A fixture for years in City Weekly's Best of Utah Arts voting, photographer Cat Palmer traverses the worlds of commercial and fine art with unique skill. Sure, she can take a family or wedding portrait with the best of them, but she can also get political with works advocating for reproductive choice, or playful enough to cast a spin on "The Last Supper" with local anti-establishment figures like filmmaker Richard Dutcher, Sister Dottie S. Dixon, comedian Jay Whittaker and X96's Bill Allred. (SR)
2. Jimmi Toro
3. Heather Mahler

Best Record Shop
Randy's Records

Remember when a record store was actually a record store? Vinyl isn't just a hipster fad at Randy's; it's practically the whole gotdarn raison d'etre, with the state's largest selection of new and used albums, plus turntables. Now sneaking up on a 40th anniversary year, Randy's remains the place to feed your need for the needle—the kind that gives you the glorious crackles and pops of physical media music. (SR)
157 E. 900 South, 801-532-4413,
2. Graywhale
3. Raunch Records