Even though the Firefly Music Festival is only in its third year, Imagine Dragons can count themselves as alumni. “Last time we were here - we played Firefly two years ago - it was at 11 a.m., and to be back here now doing this again, we can’t tell you how much it means to us" stated lead singer Dan Reynolds. And while in 2012 Imagine Dragons had the privilege of opening up The Backyard stage on Saturday morning, at this year's Firefly Music Festival they've grown in popularity to the point where they're now the opening act for Outkast's headlining set on The Main Stage on Saturday night.
There have been a few changes at the Firefly Music Festival in that short period of time. After several more acres of forest were cut down to add more stages, the Main Stage was moved to the back of the field but instead of planting grass, sand and gravel were put in its place. With 80,000 people walking over it, it created the world's worst dustbowl, forcing concert goers to wear bandanas tied over their nose and mouth creating what looked like a field full of bandits.
Thankfully the dust didn't seem to affect Imagine Dragons' energy as they tour through material from their one and only album, Night Visions (released in 2012), and the singles that have become staples at rock radio. Reynolds constantly ran the stage from end to end and jumped from monitor to monitor in a rock and roll version of hopscotch.
And while they still only have one album of material under their belt, Imagine Dragons did throw in a cover of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" (a brave choice) and performed "Battle Cry," a new song making its live U.S. debut at Firefly.
That wasn't the last surprise Imagine Dragons had in store. Members of Cage the Elephant joined them onstage to close out their set with "Radioactive" with everyone banging on a drum onstage and shouting out the chorus. Not bad for guys who opened The Backyard stage two years ago.
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