No matter where I am or what I am doing, live music speaks to my soul. In DC I was a regular at the venerable 9:30 Club, where everyone who was anyone went to perform – from upstarts breaking on to the scene like The Naked and Famous to the standard bearers of rock and roll such as Bob Dylan and the new megastars like multi-platinum prima donna Adele. Many years ago I stopped in to see a new young singer songwriter that I had never heard of, and left at the end of the evening with a Geek in the Pink concert t-shirt, just because it was THAT GOOD. I was despondent to leave DC, thinking I would never find a place that had so much raw talent it seemed to just ooze out of the masonry.
Enter Velour Live Music Gallery, an unassuming club in sleepy downtown Provo, which hosts an eclectic mix of artists to a rambunctious all-ages crowd of serious music fans. I stopped by in December for their epic Christmas show, featuring about two dozen local acts performing original pieces as well as beautiful reincarnations of Christmas classics. It also happened to be the night that the Mayor of Provo stopped by to present proprietor Corey Fox with a plaque commemorating the support that he had given to the local arts community and the revival of downtown Provo. In his blog, the Mayor described his night:
“Thanks to Velour, downtown Provo is being compared right now to other major music cities such as Seattle, LA, and Nashville in developing nationally recognized bands. During the last few years several bands that got their start at Velour have now signed national recording contracts including Neon Trees, Isaac Russell, Fictionist, and Imagine Dragons. ”
All I have to say is hear, hear! I am totally blown away by the musical talent that has cropped up in Utah County, and could not be happier to see true artists with thoughtful stagecraft and carefully honed skills getting their musical break in my own backyard. Rock on!
If you’re interested in checking out local talent, I haven’t seen everything, but I can whole-heartedly recommend any chance you get to see Ryan Innes, Desert Noises or The New Electric Sound. You won’t be disappointed!