Utah’s Music Scene Topping The Charts

Besides Donny and Marie, Utah isn’t known as a musical hotbed for up-and-comers. In the last decade, though, the state’s music scene has crescendoed with indie-rock bands The Killers, Imagine Dragons, and Neon Trees making their mark on national stage.

Imagine Dragons was founded in 2008 by two BYU students who went on to win BYU’s Battle of the Bands. The group then conquered Velour’s Battle of the Bands and UVU’s Got Talent. After moving to Las Vegas and altering the lineup, the group has skyrocketed in popularity, with Billboard magazine naming Imagine Dragons the Breakthrough Band of 2013.

The Killers, who have three album of the year awards to their name, were formed in Las Vegas, but the band has deep roots in Utah. Front man Brandon Flowers lived in Payson and Nephi during his middle school years. The LDS singer cites local concerts at Velour for his motivation to become a musician, while Ronnie Vannucci, the band’s drummer, currently resides in Park City.

It was Vannucci that helped Provo-based Neon Trees get off the ground by selecting the band to tour with The Killers in 2008. From there, Neon Trees gained national attention with their single “Animal,” which hit No. 13 on the top Billboard 100.

All three bands not only make an effort to perform in Utah regularly but mention their love and appreciation for the community and their fans here. Although Utah’s musical reputation may never live up to the bright lights of Los Angeles, it is holding its own in.

Read more about the music business in “Mu$ic Inc.” from the summer issue of Marriott Alumni Magazine.