Reel Freak

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Concert Review – Imagine Dragons @ DCU Center, MA

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It’s a pretty remarkable thing when a band can go from playing small clubs to playing huge arenas in just a year’s worth of time.  We see this happen quite frequently when artists have one-hit-wonders which help them sell their tickets to venues much larger than they should be performing at.  But when it is clear that a band or artist is able to release a full album of  memorable material and the true ability to command sold-out arenas, you know they’ve truly earned their success.

Such is the case with Imagine Dragons, a band out of Las Vegas, Nevada, who released their debut album Night Visions in 2012.  They have since risen to the top of the world (see what I did there), with the album going multi-platinum, with five of the eleven tracks becoming massively popular singles.

As an example of achievement, Boston has been very kind to the band so far.  In February 2013, Imagine Dragons played House of Blues Boston on the first run of their “Night Visions Tour”, a venue that holds a couple thousand people.  In July the band upgraded to the Bank of America Pavilion, where they played for roughly 5,000 fans.

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Thursday night, the band made a stop at DCU Center in Worcester, MA, an arena with a capacity of nearly 15,000.  Part of their new “Into the Night” tour, this was the first time I’d personally seen the band, and I was pleased with the performance.

The band’s support were Nico Vega and The Naked and Famous, only the latter of whom I was able to catch.  The Naked and Famous had a fairly standard alternative/indie sound to them, led by a female lead vocalist who successfully energized the crowd.

Imagine Dragons took the stage right around 9:00, and played about an hour and a half’s worth of music.  Their frontman, 26-year old Dan Reynolds took full command of the arena, giving off an effective presence similar to Brandon Flowers of The Killers or Chris Martin of Coldplay.

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Tearing through a 15-song set, the band tore through songs from their limited catalog, without giving off the sense that they were short on music to play.  Half-way through the show they did a cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” which, while in good sentiment, did not nearly live up to the musical-level of Rush themselves.  Dragons made a smart move and successfully spread their hits out, sprinkling one here and one there, rather than playing all of them in a row.  ”

The high points of their set had to be their hits “On Top of the World” and “Radioactive”, with the crowd singing along and jumping up and down, just like Reynolds himself.

By the end of the night, you could tell that Imagine Dragons have earned what they’ve accomplished, and that they are just starting out.  These guys seem to have a lot left in the tank, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s to come for the band’s future.

Rating: 7/10

Written by Josh Sazin on 3/10/14

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