Provo music scene flourishing

By Kaylene Morrill

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, April 28 2011 4:51 p.m. MDT

Provo's Fictionist returned to play at Sammy's after a week in New York for "Do You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star," Rolling Stone's new competition for unsigned artists.

Kaylene Morrill

PROVO — In the past several years, the Provo music scene has sung a sweet tune.

Fictionist, which recently made the top four of Rolling Stone's "Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star" contest, is one of the local groups becoming known across the nation.

In March, the band was part of a block party that also featured Vibrant Sound, the Neighbors, Allred and Mindy Gledhill. More than 200 people spilled into the street just outside the doors of Sammy's Cafe for "iHappiPALOOZA," eager to hear some of the sounds Provo has to offer. Some poked their heads out of a parking garage next door to enjoy the show.

The musicians captured their fans' attention — and likely the attention of those who were blocks away due to the booming, amplifying speakers.

Neon Trees and Fictionist are perhaps the two most-famous bands from Provo currently.

Neon Trees got a break in 2008 when Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci discovered them at a gig, giving the group some opening slots in the Killers' tour.

But Fictionist's fame is just starting. The band, organized three years ago, is one of four finalists in Rolling Stone magazine's new "Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star?" competition for unsigned bands. If Fictionist wins, it will be awarded a cover spot on Rolling Stone and a record deal with Atlantic Records.

These bands, in addition to Joshua James and Isaac Russell, are familiar faces to Velour Live Music Gallery, a popular music venue in Provo.

The venue is a unique one, comprised of an eclectic array of decorations. Upon walking into the building, a chandelier, stained glass windows, a circus poster and disco ball are visible.

Corey Fox, creator of Velour, paid great attention to detail with a hope of cultivating creativity and professionalism within musicians.

Bands that have started out in Velour have continued on to do great things.

Sammy's provides similar concerts every once in a while, but artists who might not be professionals can perform in Provo, too. Velour has an open mike night every Tuesday. For BYU students, an "Acoustic Explosion" is held periodically for musicians, specifically those who play the guitar, to perform.

E-mail: kmorrill@desnews.com

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