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Imagine Dragons uses low-key show for public band practice

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Photo: Johnny Wen

I heard it through the grapevine that local band Imagine Dragons would be performing a couple of “secret shows” at Hennessey’s this past weekend. With friends and family in town for the Consumer Electronics Show, I had already planned to show them Downtown, so an impromptu concert fit nicely in our plans.

We didn't buy this but did have to pose for the obligatory photo.

We didn't buy this but did have to pose for the obligatory photo.

We arrived just in time for set break and decided to go on our sightseeing expedition first. Armed with drinks in brown bags, we explored the Fremont Street Experience, stopping for the obligatory tourist photos with our friends, from New York and Maryland.

Eventually finding our way to the Golden Nugget, we checked out the new Gold to Go ATM, only to discover that it was sporting an out of service sign two days after its unveiling. Our guests checked out the shark tank before we all headed back to catch Imagine Dragons’ second set.

At Hennessey’s, a small crowd occupied the tables in the main room. Not the typical throng of devoted ID fans who usually populate the area in front of the stage at the band’s Beauty Bar gigs, but then again, the show wasn’t publicized at all.

Imagine Dragons @ Hennessey's

The band mixed in some of its originals, new and old, amid a set list of fun covers that got some of the patrons off their feet to dance. ID has performed extended two-set gigs like this before at The Pub at Monte Carlo and Mizuya at Mandalay Bay, but the band seemed to work in some more off-beat covers that pleased the eclectic Downtown crowd.

The band ran through covers by U2, Cake, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand and Sublime. Bassist Ben McKee seemed to have fun with the bass line on Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket,” and it was quite amusing to hear singer Dan Reynolds hold the line “looooong jacket” for a crowd that included his parents.

Calendar

Imagine Dragons
January 22, 7:00 p.m., $35
Ovation, 617-7777.

Following the show, Reynolds said the band was eager for a chance to test-drive some brand-new material, which was why they kept this show under wraps. He was nursing a cold and admitted during the U2 cover that he might need the audience to help him with “hitting the high notes.” Luckily, the Hennessey’s crowd was indeed the U2 demographic.

With a little public band practice under their belt to start the new year, it won’t be long before the members of Imagine Dragons are performing their new material in front of the sizeable indie hipster crowds they’re used to.

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