‘I’m just humbled’: Imagine Dragons, Neon Trees help pay off popular Utah venue’s mortgage

Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds, right, embraces Velour Live Music Gallery Corey Fox on the stage of the Provo venue Thursday. Reynolds presented Fox with a mortgage promissory note for the venue. (Zions Bank)

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PROVO – In Dan Reynolds’ mind, his career success couldn’t have happened without small venues. That’s especially true of the Velour Live Music Gallery, where it all began.

The Provo venue opened in 2006 and has since been a major launching point for local bands like Neon Trees, The Aces and, of course, Imagine Dragons, which Reynolds fronts.

“I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for (Velour owner Corey Fox) or the Velour,” Reynolds said. “This place is so much more than a music venue. I didn’t understand that until I was able to see so many music venues. This was the first venue I ever played at, so I’m spoiled.”

That’s why he was excited about what he was able to do next in his career. Standing on the stage of Velour on Thursday, Reynolds presented Fox with a mortgage promissory note to the building with a “paid in full” stamp on it, ending a few years of financial uncertainty regarding the beloved venue.

“Wow,” Fox said, as he was handed the note. “There’s a lot of music scenes but there’s not a lot of music families. That’s why this community is.”

Despite the popularity of Velour, the venue had fallen on hard times in recent years. Fox had a life-saving kidney transplant about five years ago, which resulted in a stack of medical expenses. The bands that started from Velour helped pay for some of those costs.

Then, in 2020, Velour was not exempt from the economic impacts COVID-19 brought to the music industry.

“I feel like the second we kind of got back on our feet, COVID came and knocked us back down again,” Fox said. “You can be good at something but COVID and a kidney transplant is out of your control.”

After learning that Velour was at risk of shutting down, Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees again set out to help. They held an online benefit last year to help raise funds for the business. Zions Bank offered to match all donations up to $ 50,000.

All of it was enough to pay Fox’s remaining mortgage payments. Zions Bank region President Nick Whiting made the announcement in front of a crowd at the venue Thursday evening, which so happened to be the venue’s 16th birthday. The crowd erupted in cheers when it heard the news.

Reynolds then came on stage to present the note to Fox before playing a few songs on stage, and other local bands also took the stage.

“Nobody deserves this more than Corey. Corey has given so much to so many people,” Reynolds said.

While Reynolds sees Velour as the place that started his career, Fox sees it a bit differently. He said Thursday that he owes everything to the people who come to shows and the artists like Reynolds.

“We wouldn’t have existed without this entire community and Imagine Dragons and all these great bands from this music community,” Fox said. “I don’t really have the words to explain what this means. I’m just humbled.”

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Carter Williams is an award-winning reporter who covers general news, outdoors, history and sports for KSL.com. He previously worked for the Deseret News. He is a Utah transplant by the way of Rochester, New York.

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