Muse Music is an integral part of the Provo music scene; the venue has been around for over a decade, and has hosted a wide range of music genres.
The shows that this journalist has attended vary in crowd size, but despite the number of attendees, the energy at Muse has always appeared more authentic and hospitable than that of the pretentious crowds at Velour. The difference is even noticeable in the behavior of performers: Officer Jenny performed the first of their two final shows at Muse, explicitly detailing favorite memories in Provo and exchanging jokes with the audience.
In contrast, at their final show at Velour, the usually boisterous singer Cope was much more reserved and often cut stories short. Jeshua Anderson, guitarist and vocalist for Sea Elephant, said, “Muse is great, Darcie [owner] is the best! They’re very relaxed, but they’re also very efficient. I’ve been playing at Muse since I was like 13. I feel like any band that plays at Muse is instantly friends with Darcie. The techs are also super friendly. Overall it’s very personable and genuine, unlike many other venues.”
On the flip side, Randy Cordner, lead guitarist for local band Temples and owner of Beast Mansion Studios, said, “Darcie Roy is one of the shittiest people I know of in existence.” Roy recounted having the electricity turned off in the middle of a performance during Fusion Fest because he swore into the microphone after speaking about artistic censorship.
The sound quality at Muse varies from show to show. The venue has been in its new location on center street for just over a year, but still seems to have difficulty finding enough people who have plenty of experience running sound to cover every performance. This issue can leave the audience feeling unsatisfied. Sept. 3, Despite Despair headlined a show featuring Vitae and Eidola.
“Since it was a touring band that people had heard of; the entrance cost was $15. I genuinely felt ripped off, the sound quality was that bad.
I felt bad for the band too,” said Nick Thurber, an audience member. “The mix was way off; I couldn’t hear all the instruments … Even the best sound engineer can’t make garbage equipment sound great, so the equipment is to blame here too. I took a look when I had a chance and everything looked pretty beat and it was entry level stuff to begin with.”
“In regards to the engineer running the sound, he said, “I’m pretty sure he just turned every fader to max and left to get a drink.”
However, other performances have been run by more experienced personnel. Oct. 3, Aubrey Debauchery headlined with Drew Danburry and Jay Arner; an experience that left this journalist shocked at the change of sound quality. Each instrument was clear, and it was easy to differentiate each singer’s voice and recognize how they harmonized.
Overall, Muse Music is a worthy venue. I would encourage the owners to invest in better equipment and better training for sound engineers with less experience.