MUSIC PICKS: NOV 18 - 24 | Music Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Music » Music Picks


Playboi Carti at The Great Saltair, Oscar Peterson Tribute at Capitol Theatre, Bad Religion and Alkaline Trio at The Union Event Center, and more.


  • Billboard

Playboi Carti at The Great Saltair
As things get chilly, especially out by the desert off the lake, The Saltair is seeing some of its last shows of the year—but the one coming up this week will be hot enough to keep things warm at least for one night. Playboi Carti will provide that heat when he stops in to Utah on his "King Vamp" tour. The album he's promoting, Whole Lotta Red, is certainly vampy enough to warrant the tour moniker; vampirism has long been a reference point for his style, both sonically and personally. With a career that's been going since he was a teen, the 25-year-old offers on his latest album even more of the uniqueness that's made him famous: his talent for making mumble-rap sound like a vibe, and his occasional dips into a rap style that sounds like goo-gah-gah baby babbles. Carti is part of a young generation of rappers who lean into weird shit, from how they rap to how they dress, and lately he's leading the way, specifically with the distinctive beats and blaring synths on Whole Lotta Red that other artists are referencing like crazy right now. The same goes for opener Rico Nasty, a firebrand who channels punk rage with cranking guitar to match to build her signature sound, which often feels more aggro than anything put out by her macho male contemporaries. Carti's protégé Ken Car$on will also open, with his 2021 album Project X in tow. The show's Thursday, Nov. 18, doors are at 7:30 p.m., and tickets to the all-ages show are $54.95 at

Oscar Peterson Tribute at Capitol Theatre
Though musicians always pass on, the beautiful thing about their work is that it can live on through other artists, and luckily that's true in the case of Oscar Peterson, too. The famous jazz pianist left this realm nearly 15 years ago, but he left behind his legacy of sweet, sweet jazz piano, which will be covered at an upcoming show here in SLC. The pianist was a success from a young age, studying classical piano under Paul de Marky, a Hungarian pianist who was once-removed mentor-wise from Franz Liszt himself. As he grew into his own as an adult in the 1940s, though, he gravitated towards more contemporary styles, like the blues-informed boogie-woogie and swing, and contemporary artists like Nat King Cole. Besides earning a reputation as a super competent pianist, he developed a method of playing that leaned on the standards while still bursting with his own flair and quickness, making for cascading tapestries of sound that he'd often fill out with a rotating cast of accompanying band members. His unique ability to play to the ears of jazz fans and non-jazz fans alike made him a stand-out in the jazz world, so that even as times changed and the popularity of the genre faded in the 1970s and beyond, he'd continue to play many different stages often. Peterson also recorded frequently, and by 2000, he'd amassed an astonishing 130 albums recorded under his own name. It's good, then, that when this tribute concert comes to the Capitol Theatre, it will be Peterson's own protégé Benny Green taking on his songs, with backing from bassist Christian McBride, guitarist Russell Malone and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The all-ages show is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 and tickets are $10 - $20 at

  • Alice Baxley

Bad Religion and Alkaline Trio at The Union Event Center
Some punk rock history rolls through the Union Event Center soon, and for fans of said revival of the genre, this is one night not to miss. Before becoming part of the '90s revival of fast and noisy punk rock, Bad Religion was making a name for themselves in the '80s, releasing their debut How Could Hell Be Worse on what is now the iconic Epitaph Records label—founded by Bad Religion's co-founder and lead guitarist Brett Gurewitz. Their fame grew upon releasing albums with the major label Atlantic, like 1993's Recipe for Hate and 1994's Stranger Than Fiction—the latter which includes instantly recognizable melodic hits like "21st Century (Digital Boy)," a quintessential '90s diatribe against the despondency of middle-class living. From the same mid-'90s hot-bed of punk rock appreciation came Alkaline Trio, who not only found inspiration in the same kind of hardcore and traditional punk that Bad Religion did, but who also helped lay the groundwork for what would become a specific pop-punk and emo sound later into the 2000s—which was also when they hit their stride, with 2001's From Here to Infirmary and 2003's Good Mourning. In some ways, Alkaline Trio and Bad Religion were once two sides of the same coin, sharing punk aesthetics that shaped what popular rock sounded like at the start of the new millennium, the former juggling political and cultural angst, and the latter indulging the messiest of emotions and human nature. See them co-headline at The Union Event Center on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m., with opener War on Women. The show is all-ages and tickets are $35 at

Tisoki at Soundwell
For those who take their dubstep with a dose of atmosphere, rejoice! U.K. electronica man Tisoki is on his way here. Tisoki's work, like all EDM, is beat-heavy and often falls back on those essential moments of building energy before the drop (electronic high-hats going off all day), but on his new 2021 album, 01953 atmosphere and delicate moments lift everything up to something groovable, even for those outside the EDM realm. The album recalls the glossy trippiness of fellow U.K. acts like Palmistry at times, and there are even house-like moments that channel the eerie aura of early pioneers like Burial. They are really cool features to pick out of the deftly produced album, where standouts include "GLASS," "WAVY" and the sensual builder "ALL NIGHT," assisted by Cry4Tre and byblood. He'll find an opener in JAWNS, who is altogether of a heavier hand with his stuff, especially on his 2021 single, which features wildly oscillating drops that come after deep, drippy build-ups, making for a song that sounds like it's fighting with itself, or short-circuiting—a good example of the loud and brash EDM style that made the genre recognizable to wider audiences over the past 10 years. The two will balance each other out well when they stop into Soundwell on Saturday, Nov. 20, brought to the venue by the local Mutiny Music Collective. The 21+ show starts at 9:45 p.m., and tickets are $20 at

  • Courtesy Photo

Royal Bliss Pre-Thanksgiving Bash at The Depot
A Thanksgiving tradition is back this year at its traditional venue. If you already know what we're getting at, it's the annual bash put on by local rockers Royal Bliss, who certainly add some of their signature attitude to an otherwise low-key holiday. This show comes as they've just released new singles this year, including "Lead The Way" and a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Going To California." The latter is a bit of a departure from their usual contemporary, heavy alt-rock sound, but leans into their capabilities within the more traditional roots of rock. Besides having Royal Bliss's ample repertoire of songs to look forward to, the group will be joined by other popular Utah acts like Jordan Mathew Young, Ginger & The Gents and Tony Holiday. It seems that their Led Zeppelin cover isn't the only way that Royal Bliss are leaning into Americana—all their openers have some kind of Americana bent, whether it's Ginger & The Gents' bluesiness, Tony Holiday's melodic roots or Young's outlaw country vibes that he perfected with a stint on The Voice. Hear some new tunes from the Bliss and enjoy the other locals, too, when they bring Thanksgiving in with a bang on Nov. 24 at The Depot. Doors are at 7 p.m., the show is all-ages and tickets are $20 at