Velour celebrates ‘lucky 13’ anniversary with Provo ‘buzz bands’

January 10, 2019
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Grey Glass performs during the Rooftop Concert Series on Friday, July 7, 2017 in downtown Provo. Grey Glass will perform at Velour Live Music Gallery's "13-Year Anniversary Show" on Saturday.

Some may consider the number 13 unlucky, but for Velour Live Music Gallery owner Corey Fox, it’s “lucky 13.”

Velour first opened its doors 13 years ago on a Friday the 13th in January 2006.

“As we approach this anniversary I find myself very grateful and lucky,” Fox told the Daily Herald this week in an email. “A couple years ago it seemed very unlikely that Velour would make it to this landmark.”

Fox said the venue’s annual anniversary celebration has been placed on the back burner for the last few years as he dealt with health problems leading to a kidney transplant in December 2016. But Fox said he definitely wanted to bring the event back this year for the 13th anniversary.

“The last three years were filled with health decline, health recovery, then just trying to get back on top of running a very volatile business,” Fox said. “It’s only been the last few months that I’ve been able to reflect again on Velour’s history and impact.”

Velour will celebrate the milestone this weekend with a “13-Year Anniversary Show” featuring Pinguin Mofex, S2_COOL, Robert Loud and Ruble on Friday, and Brother., Grey Glass, Harpers and Lantern By Sea on Saturday.

In keeping with tradition, Fox chose two lineups of current “buzz bands” in the local music scene, both veteran and up-and-coming, to headline the anniversary celebration.

“These shows are always a great way to celebrate this amazing music community and basically see eight Velour headlining bands all in the same weekend,” Fox said.

Brother. lead vocalist and guitarist Chuck Emery said playing the 13th anniversary show will be a treat for his band.

“As this is an All-Stars show, all the bands are headliners, which is very cool,” Emery wrote in a Facebook message to the Daily Herald. “We don’t get the chance to play together in Provo very often.”

Emery said there is no place more inspiring than Velour when it comes to influencing local bands like Brother.

“From the lights and stage to the wall of fame, Corey Fox and the power of Velour makes every band, musician and artist feel as if they’re untouchable,” Emery said. “They have done that for us and for that we are extremely grateful.”

Frontman Nate Pyfer of Pinguin Mofex, who has been playing shows at Velour since it first opened, said he loves performing at the venue and is glad the music scene has continued to grow since its opening.

“It’s the place to network with other musicians. It’s the place to try out new music. It’s been the common thread with all the success that our little scene has enjoyed,” Pyfer said in a recent email. “Every scene needs a venue at the center. Playing and attending shows is the best way to continually evolve and discover music.”

Fox said it was hard not to be “affected and reflective” as he recently saw on TV and social media evidences of success from many bands that got their start at Velour, like Imagine Dragons (which headlined the official halftime show of Monday’s College Football Playoff championship game), The Aces, The Moth & The Flame and Neon Trees.

Emery said Velour has given bands the confidence to work hard and push themselves.

“It is a great starting place for new bands, established bands and it is a great place to keep coming home to for the bands that have ‘made it,’ ” Emery said. “It is a wonderful place to perform as it is dedicated to the music. No bar, food or drinking; just music.”

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