Today I was invited to the Imagine Dragons concert at the last minute. I hadn’t bothered to try to win tickets because I wasn’t all that interested (there were bigger things I wanted to win, like money!) Sure, I liked Imagine Dragons, but not enough to spend money on a show.
Tonight I was shown the error of my ways. I couldn’t have been more wrong if I were the Mayor of Wrongville.
I severely, harshly, and unfairly underestimated Imagine Dragons.
From the moment that tall drink of water stepped out onto the stage, looking more like a hockey player than a rocker, I was mesmerized. He was clean cut, well dressed, poised, and incredibly down to earth. His voice was deeply rich, perfectly pitched, soothing and envigorating, on fucking POINT!
And when they harmonized, they brought me even higher. Beautifully complementary voices sang together, so pleasing to my ears I ached for more. Everyone on stage was multi-talented. The band played all manner of instruments (was that a cello?!), each taking turns drumming separately and together. The show was electric and visceral.
The stage change was a nice surprise, with the band members meandering through the crowd, the lead singer borrowing a child’s baseball cap (no, it’s not a toque, which rhymes with spook and is wooly and worn in winter). He signed that cap before he gave it back, which surely made that kid’s year. More quietly, the singer also made the year of another child, one whom he tickled on his way back to the big stage. I watched the child jump up and down and hug his mom – it was really special, and that small gesture made that kid’s concert experience life-changing.
While on that smaller stage they were more subdued, playing Tom Petty’s song Won’t Back Down, which seemed to fit the evening’s theme of staying strong and overcoming mental health stigmas. He really connected with the crowd, sharing some dark sides and encouraged embracing all sides of yourself.
Things that stick out for me: turning on the lights (“Let’s see your faces, Vancouver!”); the black and white video clips; understated stage; big colourful balls released during “I’m On Top Of The World”; bubbles; group bow at the end of the show.
When I am asked about the concert tomorrow, I will use words like connected, genuine, unpretentious, joyful, tight, talented, impressive.
I’m so sorry I underestimated you, Imagine Dragons. And I’m so grateful I got to see, hear, and feel just how special you are.
Evolve = LOVvEe