"This is our biggest headlining show," Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds humbly stated early on at their sold-out show at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Friday night. "I'm not going to be cool and act like it doesn't mean a lot to us." The audience, which contained an absurd amount of tweens with their parents, cheered their approval, giving Imagine Dragons a boost in confidence, which was completely unnecessary as they were already well on their way to conquering the crowd.
Following a great opening set by Iowa rockers The Envy Corps, and a below-average set from The Neighborhood (who came off looking like 311's bastard stepchildren), Imagine Dragons started the show with a LED backdrop of scary blinking eyes reminiscent of the eyes featured on the opening of The New Scooby Doo Movies. Thankfully there were no ruh-roh moments as the Las Vegas quartet, armed to the teeth with a variety of drums onstage, assaulted the intro like crazed kabuki drummers.
Launching into "Round and Round," Reynolds ran about the stage like an Energizer Bunny who had one too many Red Bulls. The entire band's energy rarely let up as they tore through the majority of their first (and only) album Night Visions. With songs like "It's Time" and "Radioactive" prompting a mass sing-along from the crowd, there were times where the members of Imagine Dragons had looks of disbelief on their faces, overwhelmed with the realization that so many people knew their songs. They even managed to win the parents over with their brief rendition of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me."
A minor lull in the show took place during an acoustic performance of "Thirty Lives," which gave Reynolds a brief respite from his running around. The only odd, unnecessary moment of the concert came when bassist Ben McKee performed a long-winded solo, which prompted an audience member standing near me to state "He's not Flea."
The break was brief however as the band quickly returned to jumping on and off the drums, tossing tambourines, running around and, for good measure, having the members of The Envy Corps and some roadies kick out massive confetti-filled balloons to the crowd. If there was anyone in the crowd who wasn't having fun, it was for Imagine Dragons' lack of trying.
What was astonishing, however, was the tightness of the band, who played like seasoned pros who have been touring for ten years. It's very rare for a band that formed a few years ago (Imagine Dragons formed in 2008), that are thrust into amphitheaters based on their first album's success to be able to capably perform at that level. Imagine Dragons passed the amphitheater test with flying colors. And if they're this great at performing behind their first album, I can't wait to see how they are on their fifth.
Round and Round
Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
Hang Me Up To Dry / Stand By Me
On Top of the World
Nothing Left to Say
For more information on Imagine Dragons, click here.
For more information on The Envy Corps, click here.
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