Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It's Not the Destination, It's the Journey

I remember being a college student at BYU and living near the south end of campus. There was a bagel/sandwich place near the old location of El Azetca (you old Provoans know what I’m talking about) that featured local bands on weekends.

I remember going there Friday afternoon for a sandwich before my evening shift waiting tables. I saw Swim Herschel Swim. I went there on a first date with a guy who would be my boyfriend for a semester. We saw an amazing female singer who was trying to raise money for her mission. I was young, I was hip, I was broke…it was all part of being in the Provo alternative music scene.

I took that stroll down the 20-year corridor of memory last Friday night when I decided on a whim to go to Velour in Provo and see what the local college bands had to offer. I had been ironing shirts and watching a re-cap of the royal wedding. But I had an epiphany standing in front of the T.V. clasping my spray bottle. I was middle-aged, I was broke, but damn it…I was still hip. (Or at least hippy.)

I didn’t know where Velour was, but I vaguely remembered there being a club somewhere on Center Street. Well, it isn’t there. It’s on University Avenue. Nothing a little call to 411 and more couldn’t resolve.

Velour was small, hip, and non-alcoholic, much like me. I spotted my friends fairly easily and slid into a seat next to them. When had the bands gotten so young, I wondered. Did they let high school kids in here? The woman seated on the other side of me turned slightly, and we had one of those “don’t I know you?” moments. Sure enough, she and her husband and I had been in a singles ward together. She couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 years older than I, if that.

“That’s my son,” she said proudly, pointing to the bassist on stage.

Her son?

I am old enough to have given birth to the musicians on stage! Or at least one of them.

I suddenly felt dirty for having noticed how cute the drummer was.

But the evening wasn’t ruined for me. Far from it. While I was no longer the young thing swaying on the dance floor, I felt that my 20-odd years gave me the privilege of anonymity. I sat back and people watched. And I enjoyed myself. And when my younger, hipper friends took off before I did, those extra 20 years had given me the self-assurance to stay seated, listen to the next set, and enjoy being a part of the scene.

So music lovers! If you’ve managed to stay with me thus far, I give you the act you all came to see: The 2011 Season of Downtown Provo’s Free Rooftop Concert Series! The season kicks of this Friday, May 6th at 8:00 p.m. with Fictionist and Paul Jacobsen and The Madison Arm. Concerts take place on the roof of the Provo Town Square parking terrace. Admission is free.

Fictionist is one of eight bands nationally competing to be the first unsigned band featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Paul Jacobsen and The Madison Arm has been featured at the Telluride Bluegrass Troubadour and Folks Fest among others. The concert is being brought to you by CJaneRun.com and Vivint.

I’ll be there. I hope you will be too. You can read more about the event here. Or visit their Facebook page here.


  1. Bravo for another great post! I love your profile pic!

  2. You're a hippie who likes young drummers! It's all beginning to make sense, now.

  3. I used to date a brother-in-law of a Swim Herschel Swim band member (when I was young and hip, that is. Well, at least young).

  4. This post was far and away the best post about the concert and I am sorry I just found the link to it in my inbox.

    I hope you'll write about our next show. I am on pins and needles.