Las-Vegas bred, pop-rockers Imagine Dragons are out touring behind their latest album, 2017’s Evolve.
The group has come a long way over the last few years, going from performing at smaller clubs to selling our arena shows.
During the current leg of the tour, the band has American alt-rock faction Grouplove and Illinois singer/songwriter K.Flay opening each night.
I walked into the general admission floor area moments before Ms.Flay stepped on stage. She came out with a great amount of energy, her eyes were slightly hidden behind her pulled-down white ball cap. Her set was contagiously dancey. I watched the audience around me start to bump and groove to each track. Mid-set, Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, came out and joined the opener for her track “Dreamers” from her 2017 offering, Every Where Is Some Where, this stirred up even further elation among those in attendance.
K.Flay stirring up the crowd.
I had been waiting to see K.Flay in concert for about 3 years. She has come through town before but I have never been able to catch her. Finally getting to watch her perform was a fantastic experience. She is truly a breath of fresh air. I hope she comes back again really, really soon.
Next on the docket was the eclectic rockers known as Grouplove. They are another outfit that I have been trying to see for a while.
Hannah and Christian of Grouplove dominating the stage
The five-piece stood before the crowd, their two leads, Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper, sporting bright, fluorescent green hair; possibly natural, but I’m not sure. Grouplove proceeded to delve into one of the most fun sets I have seen this year, including a revved-up cover of Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage”. Their passionate exhibition was well received by the audience. Many people stood from their seats to bounce in time.
Another beautiful band that I hope makes the trek back to Vancouver in the near future.
Imagine Dragons then took over the stage. The most notable piece of their stage setup was the intricate mass of lights that were both behind and suspended above the group. The layers of light sources added a visual explosion for the eyes. Dan Reynold, frontman, worked around the catwalk with feverish intensity. He added to the stirring affected by both openers and drew the remained of the concert goers from their seats, guiding them in an enormous sing song throughout the set.
In the early moments of their performance, Mr. Reynolds took a moment to talk about the shooting in Las Vegas. The city where the band started out. He spoke to the power of music and how we can’t let these types of horrors prevent us from experiencing live music. It was a powerful speech, from the heart.
Dan Reynolds jumping for the crowd.
Their set continued into the night as the level of energy climbed. Eventually, the Dragons moved across to a smaller, tertiary stage, on the other side of the arena, where they played a touching cover of “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, in tribute to the late artists recent and sudden passing. There were a few leaking eyes in my vicinity, a couple of which happened to be on my own face.
It was nice to see the inter-band play that went on during the show as well. At various moments they could be caught with their arms around one another with big smiles spread across their faces.
Sitting back and taking it all in, it is no wonder these dragons have grown to such a well-love status. They work for it. They earn your love. They play beautiful music and they put themselves into every note. It is simply beautiful.
Dan Reynolds making some believers.
Imagine Dragons setlist I Don’t Know Why It’s Time (Dedicated to the victims and… more ) Gold Whatever It Takes I’ll Make It Up to You Mouth of the River Yesterday Start Over Demons (In memory of Chester… more ) Rise Up I’m So Sorry On Top of the World I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover) Dream Bleeding Out Thunder I Bet My Life Radioactive
Encore: Walking the Wire Believer
By the end of the show, I looked around at the smiling faces in the mass of concert attendees and I felt happy.
In a time when the brutality of the Las Vegas concert shooting, it is touching to see it has not affected music’s ability to bring us all together.
Thank you to all three bands, please come to Vancouver again very soon.