Imagine Dragons, in the midst of one of the most successful debut album runs ever, made a stop in St. Louis Saturday and brought some friends to a sold out Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
Since releasing their debut CD "Night Visions" in September of 2012 the band has been on a whirlwind rocket ride to stardom performing to sold out venues and arenas all over the world, honing their live show.
Saturday showed why they have gotten rave reviews on this tour. With a colorful set in both sight and sound Imagine Dragons loomed large with their fans. Coming out to "Round and Round" from their "Continued Silence" EP Imagine Dragons exemplified the major role drums have in their appealing sound.
In fact, throughout the night drums were central in their set. Not relegated to just a lone musician sitting on a riser keeping time liek the vast majority of bands have, Image Dragons stands out by having every member beating on a drum at multiple points trhought the evening.
Lad vocalist Dan Reynolds loomed larger than life as he beat on the large bass drum at the front of the stage using his whole body as a catalyst for helping to bring the booming sound to life.
His voice was as strong as the drums enveloping the stage and shined with the bands tight sound and colorful lights immuminating the 20,000 fans in attendance. The enery the band put off was illuminating as well and electrified the crowd as they sang along.
The highlight of the set could easily be said to be their huge hit "Radioactive", but I am going to say "It's Time" was electric and inviting, enveloping the crowd in a wave of energy.
It's a show certainly worthy of seeing again and again.
Four bands opened the show: The Neighbourhood, Greek Fire, Cage The Elephant and Silversun Pickups.
The wildest set of the four had to come from Cage The Elephant, whose dynamic lead singer Matthew Shultz's onstage antics have been well written about.
Promoting their newest CD "Melophobia" (set to drop October 8) the band featured "Come A Little Closer", "It's Jsut Forever" and "Teeth" which certainly carries the ferocity of CTE, at least from a live perspective.
Shultz crowd surfed multiple times and even joked about the possibility of being knocked unconsious, requesting the audience keep holding him up fo rthe remainder of the night. He also joked, after the first time, that someone tried to grab his "wallet".
Shultz is so energetic and vivatious onstage that his jerky movements and dance moves remind me of a young Mick Jagger on overdrive. An impressive live act, to be sure.
Fans in attendance who didn't like them probably were enthralled with The Neighbourhood, who put in a bizarre request to only be photographed in black and white. While they looked the part of a loud and enjoyable rock band they were anything but. More like dull and cunfused. In fact ALL the photographers left the pit after only two songs (as opposed to three) because we were so bored and didn't want to waste any more of our time.
Thankfully the other highlight from the opening acts was next in Greek Fire, a local band whose popularity has grown to immense proportions in the St. Louis area, and the Midwest.
The band (Moon-vocals/guitar, Ryan Phillips-guitar, Mark Joseph Roth-bass and Johnny Venus-drums) has been around the St. Louis music scene for the past few years quickly making a large name for themselves with energetic and stellar live shows.
To show just how popular they are all three local sports teams (The Cardinals, Blues and Rams) play Greek Fire songs at games and even on promotions in commercials.
Moon is about the as close as one can come to a true fans front man. He performed more off stage, mingling with the fans in every corner of the amphitheater than he did onstage. In fact, if there were fans in the rafters he would have climbed up to hang with them as well.
Running through a very tight and energetic 6 song set the band had The Shed rockin', from the rock anthem "Doesn't Matter Anyway" to the epic "Dreaming in Deja Vu". Everyone is anxiously the release of their next CD "Lost and Found", from which "A Real Life" will be featured.
I am still amazed this band has not been signed to a major label deal yet.
Imagine Dragons Setlist:
1) Round and Round
3) Tip Toe
4) Hear Me
5) Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
7) It's Time
9) Hang Me Up to Dry (Cold War Kids cover)/Stand By Me (Ben E. King cover)
11) On Top of the World
13) Nothing Left to Say
Silversun Pickups Setlist:
1) Skin Graph
2) Royal We
3) Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)
4) The Pit
5) Panic Switch (Enough Already)
6) Dots & Dashes
7) Lazy Eye
Cage The Elephant Setlist
1) In One Ear
2) It's Just Forever
4) Tiny Little Robots
5) Back Against The Wall
7) Ain't No Rest for the Wicked
8) Indy Kidz
9) Come A Little Closer
10) Shake Me Down
11) Sabertooth Tiger
Greek Fire Setlist:
1) Break Me Down
2) Make Me Believe
3) Real Life
4) Under The Stars
5) Doesn't Matter Anyway
6) Dreaming in Deja Vu