By Mike Romero
Saturday night’s show featuring Mimi Knowles, Ryan Innes, and The Strike sold out, with many would-be concert goers turned away at the door. Since beginning their 10th anniversary celebration six weeks ago, Velour has sold out several shows – the first being The National Parks, Westward the Tide, and Brumby show at the beginning of January.
Just like that show, Velour has ordered an encore performance for tonight – the Monday immediately following their sold out performance – to satisfy the huge demand for their music. While Innes will unfortunately be out of town, Mimi and The Strike will be back in full force.
Saturday night was an absolute thrill. Ryan Innes did what Ryan Innes does best: set the mood. His sultry voice and laid back demeanor put everyone at ease, but songs with lines like, “I hate the rain when you’re so far away,” especially when paired with the haunting harmonies created by a vocoder, still stirred the soul. He was a perfect opener who could have just as easily been closing that night.
Mimi Knowles always puts on a good show, and Saturday night was no exception. Yes, his fun songs like “A Little Bit Of” bring you in and get you singing along, but you stay for moments when Mimi gets real and vulnerable. One song, currently untitled, stands out in particular. With him and his band slowly building in intensity throughout the song, by the end of it you find yourself wanting to sing along, even though you don’t know the words. The band, led by Norbert Bueno on bass, was absolutely spectacular. We missed Celeste’s trumpet for sure, but Marcus Anderson from The Strike filling in on trombone was a great replacement.
The Strike are consummate professionals. Always tight. Always high energy. Their cover of “Ballroom Blitz” was absolutely exhilarating in a hokey way that only The Strike could pull off. The Strike is able to go from playfully cheesy to exhilarating to emotional. Powerful songs like “Is It Enough?” really highlight their ability to deliver on an emotional level. The highlight of the entire evening, however, wasn’t related to the music at all. It was when The Strike invited Chris Olea and Amber Bruderer on stage in the middle of their song, “First Love Song.” The mic was passed from Chris Crabb to Chris Olea, and Olea proposed to his soon to be fiancé in front of the entire audience. She said yes.
It’s impressive that Provo has created a music scene that not only fosters the development of talented acts, but also has a large audience of concert goers that regularly turns out to see them. When asked about Saturday night, The Strike drummer Matt Millington responded, “The show felt like a celebration. It was a celebration of Velour, Provo, its music scene, and what it means to so many people. It was a blast. The music was so high-quality. And what’s so amazing is that music of that quality is played all the time at Velour, a small little music club – without a bar – in a college town in Utah. My favorite part of the show was the surprise marriage proposal during our set.”
“It’s a group effort,” Mimi Knowles told Reach Provo about how they manage to sell out shows. “The Strike always brings a crowd and the irrifutably talented Ryan Innes is always amazing. It’s just refreshing to know that Provo has a broad palette for musical taste.”
Don’t miss Mimi Knowles and The Strike tonight at Velour Live Music Gallery! Doors open at 8PM. Tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). They’re also available online at 24tix.com. Get your tickets as soon as possible. If Saturday is any indication, they won’t last long.