LIB recap: Imagine Dragons play their biggest Vegas show yet

Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons interacts with fans during day one of the Life is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

1. When I arrived at the Downtown stage for the big-time once-local band’s LIB set, the area was already near capacity, but that didn’t stop fans from pouring in 15 minutes into the performance. Not too long ago these guys were playing Beauty Bar’s backyard and the First Friday stage; Saturday night marked their biggest Vegas audience yet—certainly a proud moment for their local devotees.

2. Frontman Dan Reynolds first greeted the crowd with “We miss you, it feels great to be home!” And no surprise here: Las Vegas was central to most of the set. Reynolds shared the band’s beginnings in a house at Sahara and Jones and also listed their former haunts, even giving shout-outs to the Bunkhouse and the Huntridge Theatre. The set ended with a surprise cameo by a few Mystère performers.

3. While the band was definitely rehearsed (the tracks sounded almost identical to their album versions), the set lacked strong improvisational moments. Still, Reynolds’ stamina was pretty impressive; he wailed through powerhouse tracks like set-closer “Radioactive,” and still sounded great during exposed tracks like “Demons.”

4. The crowd didn’t seem too familiar with most of the material; sing-along choruses didn’t really go over too well.

5. Visuals can definitely enhance a performance, but the use of floodlights during the Dragons’ showing was a bit much. Sunglasses would have been nice.

  • At this point, the only constant from album to album is the band’s dedication to ambition.

  • Bassist Nate Brenner partners with leader Merrill Garbus for an approachable and dancey record.

  • “This record has very little insecurity. It was a blast to make, and it’s really fun to play live.”

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