MUSIC PICKS: DEC 23 - 29 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks


Merry Folk'n Christmas at The Urban Lounge, Tribe of I at The Royal, A Very Merry Christmas Party at The Westerner, and more.


  • L.M. Sorenson Photography

Merry Folk'n Christmas at The Urban Lounge
If you're still in town these days leading up to the big old holiday, pop into The Urban Lounge on Thursday, Dec. 23 to feel the holiday spirit with some awesome locals. At Merry Folk'n Christmas, Vincent Draper & The Culls will be playing alongside Fur Foxen and Josh Doss. The Culls have a lot of material to work with, including stuff from their 2021 album Night Light. If you still haven't heard them play it, now's the time to do it; a sweet and smoldering journey of atmospheric odes to love sickness, it's still warm enough to suit tender holiday sentiments. Opener Fur Foxen also put out an album this year, a self-titled release of spare yet sweeping folk. They've also got a fresh single in "Wicked," a spirited number that shakes with rumbly guitar and a groovy little percussion set-up. Finally, Josh Doss also released an album this year, a dreamy and saccharine take on Bob Dylan-esque folk poetry. While these folks blend their folk with a few other ingredients, it'll still be a merry folk'n Christmas indeed. The 21+ show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 at

Tribe of I at The Royal
SLC reggae heads, rise up! This is the Christmas event for you. Once again, if you're hanging around town with nowhere to be, get yourself out for a night of revelry—but don't forget your Santa hat. You'll need it if you head out to The Royal, where not only will Tribe of I grace the crowd with the reggae that's traditional to The Royal on Thursdays, but where they'll also add a little Christmas cheer. This "Santa Hat" party is an annual tradition at the venue this time of year, and the dress code is in the name. No white beard is required, and this is one establishment where Santa can probably indulge in more than milk and cookies—instead, maybe a brew and a reggae jam or two. Besides Santa-related items of interest, the local reggae troupe Tribe of I released their very own pandemic album in 2020, Life in Dreams, and no doubt some of the songs will be on display at the show. So track down a Santa hat, get your good vibes on and scoot over to The Royal on Thursday, Dec. 23. The show is 21+, doors are at 6 p.m. and tickets are only $6 at

A Very Merry Christmas Party at The Westerner
The week of Christmas, there's really only one thing to do, and it's to get the Christmas party urge out of one's system—so it's a good thing we've got another Christmas party for you here. This one is coming up on Saturday, Dec. 25. The Westerner kind of seems to be a non-stop party any time of year, with their events always promising line dancing, Jell-O shots and themed drinks. And that's all true of this holiday party, too! The theme for this one, though, is Ugly Sweater Contest (surprisingly not an Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, but dress how you will), which will yield a $100 prize for the ugliness winner. It's also possible to have a little meeting with Santa ahead of Christmas if you find yourself at the Westerner, to check if you've been naughty or nice—and maybe he can advise you away from that next Jell-O shot. The night will be rounded out by music from the Fox Brothers Band, a staple at the venue who have made many a night rowdy with their fiery country rock. This night of Christmas revelry is only barred by an easy breezy $5 cover, so head down to the Westerner and get some cowboy Christmas cheer. This event is 21+ and the bar opens at 6 p.m. Find more info at

  • Milwaukee Live YouTube

Zoso at O.P. Rockwell
One of the best Led Zeppelin tribute bands out there is headed to Utah soon, and when you listen, you'll slip into a dreamworld where it's the '70s, and you're hearing the real Zep live at their peak. With the last days of 2021 trickling away, put Zoso on your list of things to do before the new year arrives, and let yourself be transported out of this wild and crazy period in time, jamming out to classics like "Kashmir" and "Since I've Been Loving You." Among other exciting tribute bands coming to O.P. Rockwell in coming days, Zoso is a must-see for Led Zeppelin diehards. They've been practicing and touring their tribute act around the world since 1995, not only perfecting each and every note of all the hits, but working to portray the whole aura of the band's spirit and aesthetic. They've received acclaim over all those years as being the best of the best when it comes to Zep tribute bands, so make sure you don't miss them! They'll be playing a hearty set on Monday, Dec. 27 up at the grand O.P. Rockwell. The show is 21+, doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets range from $29 - $49 at

  • Aaron Peat

Head Portals at Kilby Court
With the snow and the cold and the holidays, tours are halted for the next two weeks pretty much, which means if you've got a hankering for a show, now's the time to dive into the local few that are still happening. Coming in hot after Christmas is a show with Head Portals, Sindar and Zopilote, a diverse lineup but a solid one. Head Portals are doing stuff that's hard to pin down—sometimes they have the lax qualities of good Midwest emo like Ovlov, but their guitar parts are far too jammy to call them emo. But on both their records, 2018's Brighter Later and 2019's Please Be Kind they both have the kind of warm buzzing qualities distinct to good early 2010's indie rock, and it's good here in 2021 too. The latest record goes a little harder than the last, feels a little woozier and more unhinged, with hypnotic reverb and strong, carrying guitar parts throughout. All in all, Head Portals has a bunch of super fun music to show you if you wanna get in one last show before the new year. They'll be joined by the mystical prog metal rockers Sindar and the two-piece doom rockers Zopilote. The show is Tuesday, Dec. 28, is all-ages, doors are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $8 on