By Zach Collier
Tonight, The Love§trange will be headlining a benefit concert at Velour Live Music Gallery as part of the #FIXTHEFOX campaign. Velour owner Corey Fox’s chronic kidney disease, and his need for a living kidney donor, were first announced to the public on March 29. All proceeds for tonight’s $8 show – including the bands’ cut at the door – will go to supporting Corey Fox in the event of a sudden venue closure due to transplant surgery. Joining The Love§trange are openers Barsie (fronted by vivacious rocker Rachel Kaiser), and Sonsapapa, who will debut new music.
“There have been much larger benefit shows for #FIXTHEFOX by much bigger bands,” offers frontman Karl Strange, referring to the sold-out, $300-per-ticket benefit show held in April by Neon Trees and Imagine Dragons. A $20-per-ticket Fictionist/The Moth & The Flame show was held the next night, and a Madison Arm Mixtape all-star benefit concert was held in May. But Strange says the need is still great. “We wanted to do something, too.” Wyatt Merrill, frontman for Sonsapapa, contacted Strange with the idea for a mid-summer benefit show to help keep some momentum going for the campaign.
The Love§trange released its debut album last year, the wryly-titled I Liked It, No I Didn’t, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. They were nominated for Album of the Year in City Weekly’s 2016 Best of Utah Music awards. Since then, the band has opened Downtown Provo’s Rooftop Concert Series, written music for a Lagoon commercial, and is working on its second album.
“It would be easier to become a brain surgeon than to succeed at Corey’s job,” says Strange. “And in fact, I believe there are far more brain surgeons in America than people who earn a living working with local bands week in and week out. Corey has created a supportive place for bands to come, and all the best ones are coming, plus some others – including my band,” he adds with a laugh. “Everyone wants to play shows at Velour.”
Fox gave The Love§trange their first show – their album release show – which they headlined in February of 2015. “He trusted us to pull it off even though we’d never played live before,” says Strange. “He booked two amazing bands to open for us, Coral Bones and Seve vs. Evan, but we should have been opening for them. That debut show got hyped into something larger than life and sold out, and Corey was there acting like he wasn’t taking a risk. He was, but by acting like he wasn’t, he gave us tacit encouragement and confidence to pull it off. It could have turned into a gigantic, embarrassing bust.”
The Love§trange will be performing their un-released song “Give A Little More” tonight and are asking the public to go to www.kidneyforcoreyfox.com to find out how to donate directly to the “Corey J Fox Donation” account at Zions Bank.
“We’d like people to give a minimum of $10, but try to stretch it to $20 or $50,” says Strange. “We’re asking anyone who has ever enjoyed a show at Velour, or who likes any band that has ever played at Velour, to give a little more, even if you already have.”
Doors open tonight at 8PM. Tickets are $8 at the door (cash only). Make sure to like The Love§trange on Facebook and check out their Lagoon Commercial below.