I went to my first Rooftop Concert Series show on May 2nd this year. There was easily a thousand people there. For those that don’t know, the Rooftop Concert Series happens the first Friday of the month. It lasts all summer and into the fall. It’s hosted on the top floor of an outside parking garage off 100 West in Downtown Provo. Bands cannot apply. Rooftop picks some of the most popular local bands. So you’re guaranteed talent. I was amazed. Even the Mayor was there and Provo Channel 17 filmed it.
The Rooftop Concert Series is a part of the overall Provo music scene. You’ve probably heard about the “Provo music scene” before from friends, family, or the local news. You might have heard how big bands like the Neon Trees or Imagine Dragons started their careers here. You might even be in it as a fan, band, or working for a venue.
What exactly is the Provo music scene? How or why did it start? Where is it going? This is the first article of a summer series where we will find an answer to these questions together. This will be very informative to both spectators and contributors. I can’t fully answer this question right now, but through interviewing bands, super-fans and venue owners we will find an answer. We’ll ask them these questions and more. Plus we’ll get to know more of the scene ourselves. And since the Mayor tweets about local bands so much, let’s interview him too.
To start this off, I’ve found a super super super fan! Her name is Aimee Vargas. If you were to hop onto Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and try to follow anything about the music scene, then you’d most likely come across one of her posts. She’s been in the scene for eight years on and off. You’ll find lots of pictures of her with many artists and in many venues. In fact, when I interviewed her, she was in between two open mics shows – one at Velour and the other at Roll Up Cafe. She also works for Refinement Studios in Provo. They host open mics too, but with the angle of recording them for TV.
In her opinion, even though the music scene has been here for awhile, what really got it going was venues like Velour and Muse. She explained to me how the owners, like Cory Fox of Velour, have such a huge passion to see bands grow. And that passion has led them to push their venues and get bands developed. Aimee also mentioned how she heard that the year 2006 was a very good year. That’s when bands like the Neon trees and Imagine Dragons helped people get more involved with the scene. They performed a lot at these venues.
As a local Provo resident and somewhat of a musician/performer, I could also agree with Aimee about the role these venues have played and the growth they’ve encouraged. You’ll find that these owners are passionate about music and the scene. They’ve built these venues that have helped bands fully express themselves.
Please keep following. Next time I will interview a popular band playing at the Rooftop Concert Series. Please share and follow Provo Buzz for the latest posts. If you know anyone who’d be good to interview, please comment below or contact me.
Photo Courtesy of Justin Hackworth