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Provo music venue Velour Live Music Gallery celebrates 10 years as a Utah Valley music staple this month.
Since Corey Fox created the space and hosted his first show in January 2006, Velour has become the go-to launching pad for local bands, as well as an unmissable stop for touring musicians. Its list of performers, past and present, include some of the hottest bands in the country. To celebrate their decade achievement, they are bringing out the best of the best to the stage.
This month, Velour has welcomed back Provo favorites like the New Electric Sound, The National Parks and The Moth & The Flame to commemorate what began as a local music expert’s attempt to make a space for his bands.
Corey Fox had many years of music experience managing bands and venues in the area when he decided to make a space for musicians in downtown Provo. From his extended time in the music community, he knew what it took to make an effective and dedicated space for musicians and artists, as well as an interesting visual experience for the listener.
“In addition to hosting music, the visual element is an important aspect of the Velour experience,” Kaneischa Johnson, Velour PR Manager, said. “It’s a really remarkable visual space. It’s much like a movie theater where you go in, you’re there for the music and you’re there to appreciate the band.”
Since it first opened, Velour has become one of the premier venues for any musician playing in local venues. Many area bands who have achieved relevant success began their careers on the Velour stage.
“Any of the bands coming out of Utah with more ground and reach have all played on Velour’s stage,” Johnson said. “Not only have some started here, but they’re spending time and building fan bases here too.”
Tom Brinton, a former member of the New Electric Sound, a popular Provo band that has since moved to Los Angeles, said Velour has helped boost local musicians and bring attention to their music since the very beginning .
“My high school band played in one of their very first ‘Battle of the Bands’ 10 years ago,” Brinton said. “It was amazing because we hadn’t played in a great venue like that before. It was really professional, and the sound quality was always great. Corey has always really cared about the sound.”
According to Johnson, Fox’s vision is what really sets Velour apart.
“Velour is unique because of Corey,” she said. “Everyday, Corey is curating some aspect of what’s going on there. He puts a lot of thought and energy into how shows are set up, how to help bands market and brand themselves and build a fan base.”
To the bands that play there, Velour maintains a special environment that can’t be found anywhere else. Brinton said some of the best shows he played with his band were at Velour.
Local musician Jared Gay agrees, saying there is something about Velour that makes it a unique place to play. Gay has played at Velour a few times, and says there is a reason that Velour carries the reputation it does.
“Every venue has its own flavor,” Gay said. “Every venue does something to motivate musicians to create. I think one of the best things about Velour is that they have always done a great job of getting musicians to up the game.”
Velour itself has accumulated its own fan base over the years because of its high quality of music.
“In the way that people used to go to a record store to find new music, people just show up at Velour to find a new band because (Velour) has a history of fostering quality bands and helping them excel,” Brinton said. “Everyone is expecting the next great Provo band will come out of Velour.”
Even as Velour reaches 10 years of hosting and creating local music, Johnson said “it’s still a hustle every day.” Coordinating and curating dozens of bands at a time can be overwhelming, but under Fox’s management, Velour maintains a reputation as one of the premier music venues in the area.
Velour’s place in the local music community can’t be overstated, Brinton said. To him, Velour provides a place for musicians to come and play, and Velour’s cooperation with local artists is a big part of what keeps the local music scene thriving.
And after 10 years, Johnson agrees.
“We are nothing without the artists,” she said. “We wouldn’t exist without bands and songwriters who come into the space and want to make that their home as well. Velour is really a collaborative effort, and that’s really what we’re celebrating right now.”
Velour continues its 10th anniversary celebration through the end of January with performances from Fictionist, Eyes Lips Eyes and Return to Sender.