If a band’s success was measured by the number of people selling bootleg t-shirts outside their shows, Imagine Dragons would be considered well on their way to stardom. Going from side-stage and opening slots on local radio station festivals in 2012 to selling out the Warfield in a matter of minutes, Imagine Dragons already have their next move lined up in the Bay Area with a May 31 headlining gig at the America’s Cub Pavilion (capacity somewhere around 9,000). Chalk up that meteoric rise to catchy tunes backed by an impassioned live performance that has the (mostly) teenage girls lining up 7 hours before the doors open for that coveted spot on the rail.
Saturday night, the floor of the Warfield was packed early for sets by Nico Vega and Aussies, Atlas Genius, who seemed to fall flat with the crowd except for their closing number, radio hit “Trojans.” In retrospect, Nico Vega would have been a better choice for the direct support slot but really the night was about the headliners. Once the opening acts cleared, the nervous teen energy in the room peaked as the crew peeled away black curtains, revealing an elaborate stage setup unlike previous shows featuring a giant drum as the center-piece and edged by metal trees holding spot lights. When the lights finally dimmed and the intro music rolled, the screams from the girls scorched every eardrum in the house (earplugs or not) only to be quickly replaced by those same girls singing-along (loudly) to the opening song, “Round and Round.” No doubt they were collectively more rabid and dangerous than an equivalent quantity of heshers.
Despite having only one full length album out (Night Visions), these guys are clearly no strangers to the stage. The 90 minute set was way more about the music than the production and had frontman Dan Reynolds gushing over the local Bay Area support for his band which has played here at least four times in less than a year. a bet of humor was accidentally added to the night when Dan went to kick a lighted beach ball off the stage only to have his foot connect squarely with a security guard’s head. Dan apologized profusely to the guard and that, along with the audience’s chant of “Edgar, Edgar …” hopefully made Edgar feel a bit better (and spared Imagine Dragons a lawsuit — haha).
Unfortunately for the crowd, the stock of legit t-shirts for sale at the merch table was decimated by the time the show wrapped up.
- Round and Round
- Hear Me
- 30 Lives
- Bleeding Out
- On Top Of The World
- It’s Time
- Nothing Left To Say
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