By ALYSSA HOLCOMB
For me, it’s rare when a band brings the same intensity to a live show that equals or rivals that on their album. For Imagine Dragons, that intensity increased tenfold and elevated their music to a different level at their show at the House of Blues Orlando.
South African band Atlas Genius opened the show with songs off of their new record. The group, dressed in their dapper finest, sound like a mix of Vampire Weekend and Walk The Moon, their catchy, bouncing riffs getting the crowd to dance. The band seemed humble to be on stage, mentioning that it was their “first time” in Florida.
By the time Imagine Dragons came out, the set had been draped in faux moonlight, tree branches and owl eyes dotting the stage and creating a natural glow. A variety of drums and percussion instruments filled the stage, including a huge drum that singer Dan Reynolds used during several songs.
Opening the set with songs like “Round and Round,” “Tiptoe,” and “Amsterdam,” the crowd was constantly dancing, particularly for the latter, where everyone followed Reynolds’ example on stage. “Amsterdam” was alight with enthusiasm – it was definitely one of the highlights of the night.
In the middle of the set, the band jammed with an instrumental break during “Radioactive,” including orchestra-laden background tracks and multiple percussion hits. As cliché as it sounds, the entire crowd seemed to watch in awe – the intensity in the musicality is what made the band stand out in the first place. To see it transcend to a level like this was unreal.
After “Radioactive,” Reynolds seemed taken aback and utterly touched by the crowd’s reaction, a prolonged applause period where he became teary-eyed. Throughout the night, he shook his head at the crowd and thanked them profusely for spending their Friday night with them. This could seem cheesy coming from other bands, but combine this sentiment with the intensity and truly touched aura that Dragons has and it makes for an utterly real moment.
Other standout songs include “Rocks,” “Bleeding Out,” and “On Top Of The World.” Many songs were started with mini jam-sessions that led into the number, others by soft a capella harmonies sung by the entire band.
By the end of the night, Reynolds told the crowd that the band would be back to Florida this summer for a “festival” that hadn’t been announced yet. If that didn’t get the crowd excited, the drum kicks and claps to “It’s Time” did. For a song that became such a massive hit for the band and set them on this journey in the first place, the sing-along reaction of the crowd, unwilling to end, became an added bonus.
The encore was “Nothing Left To Say,” one of the end tracks on their album “Continued Silence.” It fit the show’s finale, the lights shining on both band and audience, where many faces could be seen from both sides. In a show filled with such high emotion, it was a nice way to come down while still floating on the music itself.
“It’s Time” Live in Orlando: http://www.buzzwire.com/u-ms/imaginedragons/it-s-time-live-house-of-blues-orlando-/135852/