Last week, in a phenomenal lead-up to their GRAMMY win for Best Rock Performance (“Radioactive”), the Vegas quartet rocked the much more intimate Wiltern Theatre for a GRAMMY Foundation benefit, tickets to which were only available to preferred Citi cardholders. Think they were impressive in front of millions on national TV? Imagine how dragon-y they were in front of a cool 1,850 at the Wiltern.
What I love about Imagine Dragons is that at any given moment, I might be listening to a completely different band. Throughout their high-energy setlist, most of which is gleaned from their smash debut album Night Visions, I got shades of their incredibly varied influences.
“Tiptoe,” possibly my favorite Imagine Dragons’ song, brings to mind fellow Vegas rockers (and Meg favorite) The Killers. Further on, “Underdog” makes me think of an electronically-inclined Dave Matthews Band — a totally different sound, but one they do righteous justice. Somehow, these are both found in a twelve-track set that includes a cover of U2’s “With or Without You” that’s so spot-on I actually had the urge to see U2 for a couple of minutes. Don’t worry — it passed. (Yeah, right. I can’t even act like I wouldn’t give my left nut to see U2.)
Frontman Dan Reynolds is a pleasure, one of those dudes who manages to flit around like a charged-up hummingbird without being the least bit annoying somehow. He’s enthusiastic and endearing and one hell of a live singer.
Remember all that drumming during the Kendrick Lamar performance? We got the same routine Thursday night, and it was incredible. You haven’t heard drums until you’ve heard them blasted through the Wiltern loud enough to give you an inner ear imbalance.
In the wake of their GRAMMY win, Imagine Dragons will wrap up their best-selling Night Visions tour and head back to the studio to work on their sophomore album. No matter which of their many directions they choose to run in, I’m sure we’ll all be chasing behind.