On June 21 at 8 p.m. when local band Chris Merritt releases their second album, Pixie and the Bear, at the Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo, you’ll be getting an indie rock show and a free barbecue — two out of the three things that make summer in Utah tolerable, and that isn’t bad.

After their 10-day tour in Japan, Chris Merritt’s show here will be the only place to get the brand-new, 22-song, double-disc album for a couple weeks, since it will debut on iTunes and Amazon in early July. And, according to the band, it will be entirely worth it to get this release early.

 "It just sounds epic … there are a lot of cool concept songs," band manager and drummer Tim Fellow said.

Chris Merritt, the titular front man and songwriter was also very excited.

"It’s just crisp and it just explodes out of the speakers."

For the uninitiated, Virginia native Chris Merritt joined with two Utah locals in 2007, going on to win the Velour Summer Battle of the Bands last June. Last July they were selected as one of the six finalists in the Independent Music World Series.

This past year Chris Merritt has toured extensively, hitting venues in California, Nevada and the East Coast, as well as opening for Ben Folds in April. And while the band has a good time on tour, they’ll always have a special place in their hearts for Utah.

"We feel like rock stars when we play Utah," he said.
Tickets for the show will be available at the Velour Live Music Gallery when the doors open at 8 p.m. for $6. Tickets are general admission. The barbecue is free.

PIXIE AND THE BEAR will be on sale after the show for $12.