Having ‘Night Visions’ at Imagine Dragons

imagine dragons' debut album is surely the first of many great things to come from this band | photo courtesy of imaginedragonsmusic.com
Imagine Dragons’ debut album is surely the first of many great things to come from this band | Photo courtesy of imaginedragonsmusic.com

If I were to sum up Monday night’s show at the House of Blues in three words, they would be fierce, unrelenting, and fearless. The sold-out crowd was grooving from the moment the show began, with a spitfire performance by badass, L.A. rock outfit, Nico Vega, to the dreamy set by Aussie up-and-comers Atlas Genius, to the last song of Imagine Dragons’ encore. Although everyone had their smart phones up at some point during the show, I can guarantee there is no picture or video to rival the experience.

Nico Vega kicked off the show with a scary good collection of hard-rock/new wave hybrid tracks. As she screamed her way through the set, pixie-like lead singer Aja Volkman-Reynolds proved that a small stature has no bearing on lung capacity. Volkman-Reynolds’ unique approach to singing mixed with the intensity of 70s-esque rock instrumentals, and lyrics laced with not-so-subtle social commentary made for a bitchin’ opener.

Australian indie rockers, Atlas Genius, played the next segment of the show, keeping the energy high. The guys put on a heartfelt show, playing crowd favorites such as “Symptoms” and “Trojans” off their debut album, When It Was Now, which was released this month.

Post-openers, the energy of the crowd was high as we waited in anticipation for Imagine Dragons. We watched as sheets were removed from a massive bass drum and tree-like sculptures with twinkling lanterns. When the house lights went out, the crowd turned electric. The indie rockers sauntered onstage, with frontman Dan Reynolds all smiles.

The crowd, packed with loyal fans, sang along to every song, hits like “Demons,” “Tiptoe,” and “It’s Time,” as well as deeper cuts, such as “Nothing Left to Say” and “Underdog” off the bands debut album, Night Visions, released in September 2012. Monday night proved that the dudes of Imagine Dragons know how to put on a good show, mixing the right pop elements with a grittier, indie vibe to strike a superb balance, appealing to a wide audience.

A sassy first endeavor for these rockers from down under! | photo courtesy of atlasgenius.com
A sassy first endeavor for these rockers from down under! | Photo courtesy of atlasgenius.com

During their monster hit, “Radioactive,” which has been used in several commercials, TV shows, and movie trailers, it was riveting to watch the band members throw themselves completely into their music. The all-consuming sound was unrelenting throughout the set. At one point during the show, post-rocking out to “On Top of the World,” Dan Reynolds informed the audience that something had just electrocuted him onstage . . . “but in a good hurt kinda way, ya know?”

To say that each band on Monday night “left it all onstage” would be a gross understatement. Dan Reynolds alternated between wailing on the microphone and the bass drum. Aja Volkman-Reynolds (yes, they’re married) climbed atop a barrel drum to recite a spoken word poem. Atlas Genius’ lead singer Keith Jefferey jumped off his brother’s drumset. This reminded the audience what music and concerts are all about: passion. Passion for a song to such a point of getting lost in the music — whether you are the musician, presenting your art to the crowd, or a small part of the audience, taking it all in.

About Charlotte Holley

Charlotte hails from Portland, OR and Chicago, IL. She is a Journalism major, minoring in Women, Gender & Sexuality studies. She is a passionate feminist, spoken word poet, and can do a startlingly convincing baby cry.

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