Imagine Dragons at House of Blues, Chicago

Imagine Dragons exploded on stage, much like they did on the music scene last year. They were so damn excited, that the lead singer (Dan Reynolds) punched himself in the face on accident. From they’re break out performance at SXSW in 2012, the Las Vegas quadruplet sets out to be the biggest thing out of Vegas since The Killers. Whether they can do that, remains to be seen.

What I like about their music, specifically their studio record… is that it has heart. A pulse to it. Strong and potent. Its music that I’ve been waiting for a long time to hear. Seeing them live? Well, the crowd was roaring. The drums were pounding – HARD. Like a 100 watt amp powering a 12” woofer in the back of your car. Feedback from the bass guitar. It was sharp. It was tribal. The spotlights hit the crowd, you see people smiling and nodding. Chills hit my spine, the crowd hits the chorus of each song right on queue (as if it was rehearsed). Reynolds voice is different too. I can’t put a finger on it, but something about it… is unique. Its gritty, raw and sometimes hollow. Every once in awhile; their drums would be off beat with their guitars and vocals, but they would always catch up. And when they did, it was a beautiful thing. That’s what makes them good… and really what makes live music good. The imperfection.

The band puts so much emotion behind every song. Each one builds you up nicely, and abruptly finishes which is immediately followed by cheers from the diesel fueled crowd. I love the clap… the simultaneous rhythm of people putting their hands together. Band & fans… all in unison. Vocals, bass and drums in perfect harmony. Dan yells, “You guys feel like dancing tonight? Nobody is judging you” – you’re damn right we do. 10 inches of snow outside? Who cares, its heating up in river north.

The band took us on a ride for 90 minutes. From deep, dark primal beats from the drums… to enchanting, acoustic and emotion-filled ballads. There is one moment that captivated me, and still sits with me to this day. When Dan Reynolds wiped a tear from his eye after dedicating a song to fan (Tyler, 18) who had passed away from cancer, it was hard to not get choked up. The room got a little dusty. They have a human element to them. They are not larger than life, people love them because they feel like they can relate.

I have high hopes for this crew. Excited to see what they bring to the table next.

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