Benefit concert helps employees of Garage on Beck after fire destroys venue
Nov 17, 2023, 11:32 AM
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah live music community is supporting employees of an iconic bar and music venue recently destroyed in a fire, because those employees are now out of work.
On Thursday evening, sounds of country twang filled Soundwell in downtown Salt Lake City. The crowd that gathered gave off an intimate vibe, with people saying hi to old friends while seeing some of their favorite local bands.
Rebecca Moore chatted with a member of the headlining band, Triggers and Slips.
Her main reason for coming to the show had to do with why the musicians wanted to perform.
“It’s just insane that something like that can happen twice to a business,” she said. Moore was talking about the fire last month that heavily damaged Garage on Beck, leaving it shuttered.
Moore is a longtime patron of the bar and music venue, with many fond memories there.
Garage on Beck caught fire for the first time 10 years ago, after a blaze on the property next door and spread. This time, it appeared to start in the bar’s kitchen.
“It is overwhelming to think about the staff, the premises itself, and the work that’s been put into the building and the growth of the business,” Moore said. “And the bands that have been playing there for so many years, to all of a sudden have to start over again, you know?”
After the fire, Joey Traum with Live Nite Events worked to rebook bands with upcoming shows at Garage on Beck at different venues or reschedule or cancel their gigs altogether.
He explained how bands and community members began to reach out, heartbroken and saddened by the fire.
“Garage and Beck is an incredible establishment — great food, great staff members — it’s a community staple,” Traum said. “That’s something that needs to come back and be thriving again.”
Live Nite Events, along with music venue Soundwell, and five bands came together and planned a benefit concert with proceeds going directly to Garage on Beck staff members.
Morgan Snow, singer, songwriter, and acoustic guitar player for Triggers and Slips, has performed many times Garage on Beck over the years. In fact, he said Triggers and Slips played a benefit concert for the establishment after its first fire.
“I definitely think it was an easy thing to say, ‘Let’s get together and help the staff out,” he said. “And you know, those are like family to us, so we want to make sure that they’re taken care of.”
Thursday’s lineup included Rick Gerber, Michelle Moonshine, Jim Bone & The Dig, Heavy Rollers and Triggers and Slips.
Bob McCarthy, owner of Garage on Beck, came to see the show along with some of the employees the bands were supporting.
“It’s nice they’re coming out for them. You know, it’s really about those workers,” McCarthy said. “To see this, to need this, and to see people reach out… I think it really hits home.”
McCarthy said the employees are ready to work and they’re looking to rebuild, but he’s waiting on insurance.
He got to see the community begin that rebuilding process for them Thursday night, and he said the bar will “come back stronger than ever.”
Each band’s set list included a message of love, help and hope.
“We all love and support them,” Moore said. “We will do whatever we can to get them back to work.”