Happy Birthday, Velour.

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Photos by Gabi Campbell

Tiffany Frandsen | Deputy Managing Editor | @tiffany_mf

Six bands – all with ties to Provo – and hundreds of music fans, including Provo Mayor John Curtis, came to the two day bash to pay homage (or, you know, just to boogie along with good bands) to founder/owner Corey Fox and his staff for Velour’s 9th anniversary on Jan. 16-17.

Velour has always felt like an established, Provo household name to me, even when I first moved to Provo seven years ago. In this city of start-ups and turnover, it’s an institution (true, said institution is only nine and if Velour were a kid, it would barely be on the cusp of adolescence. And here it is, hosting its own birthday party for a packed room of enthusiastic young adults). It probably helps that inside looks antique, what with its red velvet and stuffed/mounted buffalo head.

Friday night, evening one of the weekend anniversary party, first-timers Haarlem opened along with electro-rock band Sego. Rock band The Moth & The Flame headlined.

Saturday night, evening two of the bash, Mount Saint, Brittany Tolman’s (formerly of Imagine Dragons) new project, promoted their new upbeat indie rock album, “Criminal.”

The multi-talented Brocks (each of them play more than one instrument on stage) played an electro-rock set with a beat strong enough to bring the crowd to dance, even when the tempo slowed.

The New Electric Sound headlined. Their sound is like a late summer electric-beach party. They played their self-titled album and surprised fans with new material. They ceremoniously gave one of the new songs, “Tango,” to Velour (and a fan named Tina) as a birthday present. It’s peppy and hook-centric, and I was still humming it for a while after because that little earworm had invaded and become governor of my brain.

Rereleased their self-titled album tonight, with two extra songs, “a super-album,” if you will. They have been working in the studio and are getting ready to release a second album in a few months.

Three beats into “Heart Beat,” the last song of their man set, the room burst into ecstatic screams. They played a very bare chorus, with bass and minimal drum, so Scott Vance’s vocals were exposed and sensual. I suspect that a lady or two got pregnant with twins from that chorus. We’ll have confirmation in nine months.

As an extra surprise, Vance dropped his guitar, rapped and attempted some crowd surfing (which was a bit doomed from the beginning, because of the mic cord).

When fans screamed for an encore, Vance came out alone and asked what people wanted to hear. He played an acoustic version of “Crimson Sky” solo, like a sad, slow cowboy. A couple minutes in, the drummer came out and joined him. When the rest of the band joined, the song sped up, but was different party than the main set.

The encore was grittier, with more of a galloping drumbeat. It was as if the beach party had been raided by the local sheriff, and they were electro-outlaws (electroutlaws?), galloping across the salt flats.

Vance tried crowd surfing again, sans microphone, and this time it worked much better.

Velour, the physical manifestation of Provo’s music scene, has been instrumental in launching lots of bands that were born or formed in Provo – Imagine Dragons, Joshua James, Fictionist, and Neon Trees.

So, sincerely, happy anniversary. Stick around.

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