A shock of blond curly hair bobbing above the crowd caught my eye at my first Imagine Dragons concert a few months back. Every band has a super fan. It’s the person who never misses a show, is always in the front row and sings along to every word. For local indie popsters Imagine Dragons, this fan is Weston Brown.
Brown began following his friend Dan Reynolds as he started to make his way through the ranks of the Las Vegas music scene a decade ago. Brown says he always liked Reynolds’ various other projects, but “none have been as satisfying as this group. This is his best work by far.”
The two have been friends since their middle school days at Kenny C. Guinn Middle School. “We both played saxophone in the middle school band. He was better,” Weston says of his musical friend.
At last night’s Neon Reverb show at Beauty Bar, the familiar blond curls were missing, and I was shocked at the apparent absence of Brown, whom I had never seen miss an Imagine Dragons show. As I perused the area where the band’s friends and family were sitting on the back patio at Beauty Bar, a familiar face caught my eye. Brown was there minus his signature mop top because the super fan will be heading off to join the Air Force in little more than a week’s time.
When I probed Brown for the details on his decision to leave Las Vegas, he revealed that his father was in the Air Force, and he is eager to further his education without incurring debt. So, what will other Imagine Dragons fans do in his absence? Will their live shows be the same?
To fully understand Brown’s impact on Imagine Dragons’ live shows, you really have to be there. His staccato foot movements and spastic arm jerks beat out the rhythm, much like a conductor. There is a point in every show when lead singer Dan Reynolds hops down off the stage and dances with the crowd, mirroring Brown’s unique dance moves.
Imagine Dragons’ keyboardist Brittany Robinson said some of the indie punk kids at a recent show at The Farm snickered and poked fun at Brown’s passionately expressive motions. Probably, she explained, because, “they were afraid to dance and have fun like he does.”
Brown, whose favorite ID songs are “Take, Take, Take” and “Curse,” says he is “trying to find someone to replace [him]” as the hyped up dancing fan at ID shows. When I asked if he knew how many more shows of theirs he would attend before leaving town, he pulled up his phone’s calendar and sure enough, it listed every show for the next two weeks. Brown explained, “A super fan always knows when the next shows are.”