Imagine Dragons at Roy Wilkins, 9/30/13

Categories: Last Night
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Photo by Youa Vang
Imagine Dragons
With the Neighbourhood and the Envy Corps
Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul
Monday, September 30, 2013


What a difference a year and a lot of radio play makes for a band. Since hitting the road in February of this year, Las Vegas band Imagine Dragons have not slowed down one bit. They've played a grueling tour of as many as 25 shows a month, and it doesn't look like it will anytime soon.

The band could have turned into a one-hit wonder and fallen into obscurity after "It's Time" made its way around the airwaves, but the rest of Night Visions is just as catchy as the first single, allowing them to build their tour around the album. Essentially the music is the core of the show, but the band sure knows how to deliver an entertaining night that included drums, drums, and more drums.

The hype machine can sometimes get carried away with artists, but with Imagine Dragons, it certainly is correct. With a stage set with five different drums -- which included a Taiko drum taller than lead singer Dan Reynolds -- and a drum set, the band set out to make everything epic for the sold out audience. Reynolds wasted no time in using the Taiko drum, grabbing a mallet and beating on it for the opening of "Round and Round," a lesser-known song off an earlier EP. No matter, the crowd knew every word and sang along, as they would do for each song Monday evening, creating a chorus to back up the band.

In his air of humility, Dan says enough onstage to keep the crowd engaged, but not to the point of tedium. The singer expressed his thanks to the Twin Cities market for its support for such a small band in the early stages, citing their visit to Minneapolis for the Basilica Block Party in 2012 as a highlight. Although the Roy is in St. Paul, many musicians often call it Minneapolis, as did Reynolds for the whole evening, often saying, "We love Minneapolis."
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The Neighbourhood

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Photo by Youa Vang
With such a small catalog to draw from -- some EPs and the full-length Night Visions -- the band was able to bring out some non-radio songs including "Amsterdam" and "Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older." "Cha-Ching" and "Rocks" both integrate many African tribal drums elements into the pieces, allowing Dan to play musical drums with the sets onstage. Perhaps that plays into Reynolds' ADD nature. Not waiting till the end of the show for their big hit, "It's Time" was pulled out early in the set, causing the audience to go wild.

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