By Zach Collier
Last Saturday, Space Venture Coalition packed Velour Live Music Gallery in downtown Provo, selling out. Due to its outlandish success, Velour ordered an encore show for Monday night, which also sold out.
A space rock opera written by Jared Gay, Colin Hatch, and Tom Brinton, the show takes attendees into the year 2105 to explore “The Beautiful Planet,” CR-675. The show features a credited cast and crew of 14, and incorporates set pieces, costumes, and live music into one cohesive whole. The music sounds like the indie rock lovechild of David Bowie and Sgt. Peppers era Beatles. Space Venture Coalition is part of a budding rock opera scene. Deep Love, a rock opera penned by Midas Whale’s Ryan Hayes and Jon Peter Lewis, has seen monumental success since it began in 2010.
Tom Brinton, former bassist for The New Electric Sound, said the success they saw this past weekend has presented opportunities for the future. “Right now there are tentative plans for future performances and maybe even a second episode, but mostly we are just recovering from a whirlwind weekend. With the props, set pieces, makeup, costumes, lighting, and instruments, this was much more of an undertaking than we were used to with a typical concert. After the reception we saw, we definitely want to make it available to more people.”
Brinton helped write a few of the show’s songs and arranged others with creator Jared Gay. He also played keys and sang in the band’s live performance. He says the initial idea for the show came from a mutual love of Sci Fi and a desire to do something different and more engaging than the traditional band experience – an experience regular Provo concert goers are familiar with.
“Selling out both shows amazed us since we didn’t know how it would be received,” says Brinton. “I think it kind of proves that people want to be engaged and entertained at a concert. With SVC, we wanted to still play the kind of music we love, but with the added dimensions of story, characters, and visual effects. Both nights were full of energy. The crowd came ready to participate and that really set a great mood for the show.”
With rock operas like Deep Love, SVC, and 2014’s experimental opera Museum Of, it seems as if the Provo music scene is headed in exciting, varied new directions as the artists here continue to push boundaries.