Top 40 dominators Imagine Dragons delivered an emotional mixture of post-apocalyptic doom and cheerful alt rock energy on a snowy Wednesday night at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Imagine Dragons were preceded by the hip hop-punk rock-EDM artist known as .grandson, who force-fed the audience such unadulterated energy that, by the end of his set, the crowd was bursting from their seats.
.grandson incorporates heavy guitars and cathartic lyrics which he raps… aggressively. This, combined with jumping and thrashing across the stage worked wonders to loosen up the crowd and get them ready for the main event.
Imagine Dragons started their show with an end-of-the-world short film, leaving only one survivor.
The survivor was raised up from the ground, only to be sent crashing back down to the dust. The video, thus, set a somber tone for the beginning of the show. However, as the band’s singer Dan Reynolds rose from below the stage (very similarly to how the survivor was raised in the video), a different, more hopeful feeling filled the stadium.
Reynolds’ energy could be felt before he even took a step or sang a note. In stark comparison to the ominous tone of the show’s intro, its actual execution was much more uplifting. Fans screamed as Reynolds leapt across the stage and had the crowd singing along from the very first song. He commanded the stage in such a way that was both intense, yet also very kind: scowling with emotion as he belted the lyrics one second, before smiling at fans in the pits on either side of the catwalk the next. This performance duality was hard to put your finger on… it was foreboding, yet optimistic. Intense, yet cheerful. Aggressive, yet emotional.
Imagine Dragons has found a way to walk the line between darkness and light that is truly a pleasure to witness.
Confetti filled the air as Reynolds twirled across the stage, screaming out the lyrics and smiling as the crowd screamed them back. Albeit popular and polished, Imagine Dragons still feels like a ‘new’ band to me (for some reason), but, as I watched the crowd sing along to every word, it dawned on me that this band has been around a while now. More specifically, they’ve been performing nearly 15 years now, with almost an entire decade since Imagine Dragons gained mainstream popularity by releasing the biggest rock song of 2013, “Radioactive”. Feeling old yet? Considering that degree of longevity, it is no surprise how this band continues to fill stadiums with fans who know every word.
Reynolds’ unique voice, combined with the band’s ability to create hits that stand the test of time, leads one to believe that this band won’t be going anywhere soon, either. Imagine Dragons have become a staple in American rock music and deliver a show that holds up to that standard. The Mercury Tour is everything a rock show should be, executed in a way that is guaranteed to have fans leaving with a smile on their face and a song stuck in their head.
Photography by Sean Rider