If you’ve never heard of Imagine Dragons, you’ve probably been living under a rock without a stable internet connection for the past year.
I don’t know their names. Heck, I barely knew what they looked like until yesterday.
They’re another “Ro-band” – we missed them last time they were in town, during the summer, so we made sure to get tickets for yesterday’s show at the ACC (great seats, too: on the side, but an excellent view of the stage).
There were two opening bands: X-Ambassadors (who we saw about a month ago opening for Panic! at the Disco so good on them!) and The Naked and Famous (female-fronted indie band from New Zealand). Both were decent, helped set the mood and got the crowd excited for ID, but probably not bands I would listen to for funsies (I feel like they’re both bands that are much better live than recorded. Also, Ro took a nap during TNAF, which, while not surprising (she’s done it before), was impressive because of the amount of flashing lights coming from the stage).
Imagine Dragons came out at 9pm amidst ear-piercing screams. The band seemed excited to be on stage and the audience matched their enthusiasm (for the most part anyway. Except for the people who must not have ever been to a concert before because they were many shocked/perplexed looks when the arena was suddenly infused with the smell of pot. Meanwhile, I was wondering why no one had lit up sooner).
I’ve only listened to their full length, Night Visions, so there were a handful of songs I didn’t recognize, older songs from their previous EPs. I was, however, very excited when they played my favourite ID song, “It’s Time”:
Now don’t you understand that I’m never changing who I am?
In addition to the steady stream of songs, there were a handful of solos throughout the show – mainly on guitar, but also on drums (and by “drum solos”, I mean every member of the band played a different drum set at the same time). There were a large amount of drums on stage. Different types, different sizes…I’m not drum expert, but even I could see they all served a different purpose. On either side of the stage, a sloped runway led up to a small platform that each held a single drum: during the show, various band members (both guitarists, plus the singer) ran up to the platforms and began pounding away. It was kinda funny to watch how haphazardly they threw around their seemingly endless supply of drumsticks.
Highlights include: the drummer playinga violin (while still sitting behind his drum kit!), plus Dan, the singer, jauntily walking the perimeter of the floor area during “On Top of the World”, looking for all the world like the Pied Piper as half the standing crowd ran after him.
I’m on top of the world!
There were also moments when Dan, paused to thank the crowd for joining them, for giving them a chance, for supporting music and upcoming artists. Sometimes, his voice quavered with emotion (unless that’s just what he sounds like?) as he talked about the years they’d been a band before they made it big, how they never gave up, how they know what it’s like to be in the crowd…but especially emotional was when he dedicated a song to a young fan/friend who passed away from cancer last year, reminding us to appreciate life and live in the moment. It’s refreshing to see a popular band who haven’t lost touch with their roots and who are genuinely grateful for their recent success.
Of course, the song that made them who they are was also one of the best performances of the night. Hearing “Radioactive” live, being one of 19000+ people screaming the words, takes the song to a new level.
I’m waking up, I feel it in my bones…
Admittedly, I was disappointed that they failed to use dragon imagery (I was hoping for a holographic dragon at least!), but it was nevertheless a fantastic show.
It was also our last show for a month (next up: Taking Back Sunday on April 8) after 8 shows in 35 days (Jan 28-Mar 4), so post-concert depression should be kicking in any day now…