Saturday 10:45 p.m.
The Welcoming Face of the Happy Doorman
People who work the door at bars can sometimes be guilty of surly attitude and resorting to grunting and pointing instead of being courteous. That’s why the friendly doorman at Club Rendezvous is such a nice surprise. With an enthusiastic “Hey, guys!” as we walk in, he scans our I.D.s while singing along to the karaoke going on in the back of the bar, then ushers us in like we are regulars. As someone sings ABBA’s “Mamma Mia” and I sip a whiskey sour, I feel as welcome as if I were at “my” bar in my own neighborhood.
1900 W. 4100 South, West Valley City, 801-972-4264
Saturday 10:50 p.m.
Fulcrum of Ogden’s Love of Cover Bands
Walking down 25th Street—and maybe two blocks north or south—on a Saturday night is like turning the radio dial of yesteryear. Live bands pump Sublime tunes at one bar, Motown at the next; the occasional busker sings Van Morrison. Then, I land at Brewskis, the 20-year-old 25th Street drinking establishment that has cover bands on lockdown come the weekend. Mullet Hatchet is on stage—the concert area is in one of three large rooms—and a dozen liquored-up ladies dance and sing along to a ZZ Top tune. The lead singer makes a joke about his penis; girls giggle. Blue lights illuminate a hair hurricane onstage and in front.
244 25th St., Ogden, 801-394-1713, BrewskisOnline.net
Saturday 10:55 p.m.
Where Banda Rules
¡Orale! The Caribbean Club is somewhat of a misnomer, as it’s all about Mexican banda and norteño music—live and local every Friday and Saturday night in this West Jordan strip mall. I order two Coronas. The exceptionally attractive server tells the gringo that “it’s better with lime.” You’ve gotta be más macho, so I decline the sweetener. The band, meanwhile, pumps out some serious accordion-fueled jams.
7074 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan
Saturday 11 p.m.
Taking “The Stick” Challenge
A local band is cranking out tunes, and I’m whiskey-warm at a bar that complements its cheap beers with an eclectic selection of whiskey, ranging from Pendleton’s to Jameson to 8 Seconds Canadian. The well-priced stock and friendly vibes have got me feeling good and confident, but am I confident enough to take on The Stick? The Stick is an interesting drinker’s challenge: Above the bar, a hockey stick has four shot glasses attached to it. With the right skill and timing, four friends (or adventurous strangers) can attempt a simultaneous shot. Time it just right, and you win the night; time it wrong, and someone is getting a shot down their nose. Hmm, maybe after one more drink, I’ll be ready ...
3153 W. 2100 South, West Valley City, 801-972-0506
Saturday 11:10 p.m.
The Madison/The Cowboy
Roller Derby Dance Party
The three-story, two-bar establishment is like mayonnaise and ketchup: two condiment forces that, when combined, create something distinct and achieve what neither could do alone. The fry sauce of Utah County’s club scene—and, OK, the only club here—is packed. At The Madison, located on the first floor, the dance floor is taken over by a roller-derby team thoroughly shaking ass to Top 40 hits. The floor becomes more filled by the minute; club kids are coming out of the county’s woodwork for a night of dancing. Upstairs at The Cowboy, steins clink after a man is wildly thrown from a mechanical bull. The band transitions from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Sublime, and so the night continues: up the steps, and down the steps; up the steps, and down the steps.
295 W. Center St., Provo, 801-375-9000, TheMadisonProvo.com
Saturday 11:12 p.m.
Sin City ^
Rocking Along With Emerald Something- Or-Other
As soon as I walk into Sin City, I notice an old biker couple making out by the front door. “Finally, a real fucking metal bar,” I say. The bartender tells me the band onstage is from Australia; “They’re called Emerald City,” he shouts from across the bar. Or maybe it’s Emerald Isle; I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter. All I know is that the lead singer is doing everything right: leather pants, leather vest, big hair and power stances for days. I take a pull from a tallboy and look down, only to notice that I, too, am in a power stance. Plus, my right hand is riffing to the Rush cover blasting from the speakers. For that brief moment, the lead singer and I are brothers—two demigods rocking out in a crowded room, connected only by the power of rock.
445 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City, 801-364-4325, SinCitySLC.com
Saturday 11:17 p.m.
Any Beer You Want In the Boom Boom Room
If you’re looking for intimate and unassuming, Jam is not the bar for you. It’s a celebration of everything over the top. From the eye candy behind the bar to the music you can’t help but dance to, Boom Boom Room Dance Party on Saturday nights is just another reason Jam has been voted Utah’s Best Gay Club for five years running by City Weekly readers. Another reason? Jam’s beer-selection pledge is: “Whatever you like, we guarantee we carry it.”
751 N. 300 West, Salt Lake City, 801-891-1162, JamSLC.com
Saturday 11:23 p.m.
Where Scurvy Dogs Fear to Tread
Avast! There be hookahs here, and pirate imagery—but not so much that it’s hokey. Rather, the gleaming, well-stocked bar and the masterful ’80s mix from the DJ are the first things I see and hear. The outdoor deck overlooks scenic South Salt Lake (Crown Burger, ho!) and balances well against the classy wheelhouse. I lean on a plank and gaze up State Street. What’s beneath my arm? Yuck. Bird stuff. So is that. And that. It’s a veritable poop deck. Yarrr!
3040 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-604-0869
Saturday 11:25 p.m.
The Star Bar
Exposed Flesh Through the Lasers & Haze
I’ve never seen this much flesh in Utah—there’s hope! At the Bikini Bash, two dudes in neon tank tops sporting massive biceps vie for a girl wearing black floss and calling it a bikini. I can see more midriffs through the haze and lasers on the dance floor; techno music, fog machines and scantily clad women all mesh into a thumping, pulsing cloud. Where I stand, there’s an oak-y, mountain-town-esque bar and a VIP section with chalet charm where a few beach bods are lapping liquored-up snow cones. I take a watermelon-flavored one, and as I take my shirt off, wish that I had waxed my back hair.
268 Main, Park City, 435-615-7000, StarBarUtah.com
Saturday 11:30 p.m.
Johnny’s on 2nd
Polite Black Metal
It’s busy downtown, and another wave of black-clad patrons is crushing up against the bar at the back of Johnny’s. It’s almost a mosh pit—which is where I would expect to find most of these people anywhere outside of this bar. Still, everyone is polite and patiently waiting their turn. A girl steps up to order, her tattoos clearly showing though a large keyhole on the back of her flowered shirt. I could almost order for her: a tallboy and shot of Canadian Host. It’s the Saturday-night special, going for $5, and it’s going fast.
165 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-746-3334, JohnnysOnSecond.com
Saturday 11:40 p.m.
Featuring the mixing styles of DJ Erockalypze, and Tecate and a tequila shot for $5, Saturday nights at Inferno Cantina are en fuego. Did I mention there’s no cover until 10 p.m., and ladies get in free all night? That’s right, men: lots of ladies on the dance floor looking for someone to buy their tequila shots. So, throw on your V-neck or collared shirt (per Inferno’s request) and get ready to dance your pants off Saturday nights, where the dance floor is almost as caliente as the girls on it.
122 W. Pierpont Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-883-8838, InfernoSLC.com