I've played at the Utah a number of times. Here are my thoughts:
- Brendan is the host. He's a cool dude and he knows how to run it.
- If you're on deck, there's a back room where you can tune up before your set.
- Original and cover songs are ok, though most people who come out are promoting their own.
- Often over 40 acts sign up. They do a random drawing to see who gets what slot.
- Everybody gets one song, and they go until everyone has had a chance to play--often until 1:00 am.
- There is a featured act that plays for 30 min, usually around 10:00. To get that spot, you just have to keep coming back.
- They have an upright piano and a pretty good sound system.
- $15 minimum for a credit card, but the food is pretty good.
Overall Hotel Utah is a great open mic. Just be warned, you have to be willing to wait around, and you only get one song.
- reply to this commentAnonymous (3/2015)
- Going kinda comedy and obscene: eg Hate Crime band with F### themes and gay lesbian encounters. Don't take your grandparents.
- reply to this commentT. Fielding (10/2012)
- I love this Open Mike! Good burgers, chili etc and cool, friendly neighborhoody--old-timey feel and place. It's kind of a friendly mob scene with mostly players and regulars and I think there were probably 50 ish people who signed up--Phew. My partner wouldn't have gone on until midnight or something and I even later--if at all--- judging by how far along they were when we had to leave. So-it's worth going just to go, especially if you have a few beers and some friends to hang with but a little iffy about actually getting to play without possibly waiting 4 or even 5 hours. We had to split without playing--for the 2nd time in a row. Someday we'll get lucky and get picked for the first 3 hours. Good sound---good host----good scene---good luck in the time draw!
- reply to this commentKaty Keenan (10/2010)
- ? what's the status on the piano that's there, can performers use it?
- reply to this commentalex (9/2009)
Went last night for the first time. The Utah has a lot of things going for it: the host was great (organized, personable, and no mean performer himself), there was some great talent, the room has a good vibe, the performers don't all leave as soon as they're done, and there were even people who were actually just there to listen. I also like what they do with recording and posting performances on the web.
But I do have to agree somewhat with Karl's comment below that it's a bit of a victim of its own success. While I lost count of the number of performers, I'm pretty sure it was over 40. I don't mind waiting a while to play, especially when there are enough other good people that listening is fun, but I found that about 20 performers in, I was getting tired as a listener. And if I was tired, I'd bet others were too, and a tired audience isn't great to perform for.
Still, I'd go back. I think when I do, though, I'll probably go not expecting to perform, and just stick around as long as I'm enjoying the event as a listener, and if I get to play, that's a bonus.
- reply to this commentWeston C (10/2008)