IMAGINE DRAGONS LIVE IN VEGAS -- The One Vestige of Hope Rock ‘n’ Roll Fans Have of a Popular Rock Band Today
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Along with being a huge movie fan, I'm a big fan of rock ‘n’ roll music, among other things. I grew up on the second British Invasion back in the ‘80s. I then transitioned into being a grunge/alternative rock fan in the ‘90s, and progressed into the inevitable metal music fan in the 2000s. A mix of all those subgenres of rock n roll is a band that came onto the scene in the 2010s called Imagine Dragons. They have been labeled the Nickelback of today's era of music. I disagree! They are a multifaceted band with many influences, and Imagine Dragons Live in Vegas is a perfect showcase for them.
Many bands do live concert films, so why not them? They started out on September 7th, 2011 but fast forward to 2022 last year, for this concert, in Allegiant Stadium, in their home of Las Vegas. As they say, "Home Means Nevada.” The members of the band, Dan Reynolds (lead singer), Ben McKee (bass), Wayne Sermon (guitar), Daniel Platzman (drums), and Elliot Schwartz (keys and other instruments), discuss their meteoric rise to fame in the typical way documentaries use — talking heads.
Director Matt Eastin also used narration from the lead singer and other members of the band during the concert, in which they performed all their biggest songs — ”My Life,” “Believer,” “Thunder,” “Follow You,” “Whatever It Takes,” and “Natural,” among others. They definitely had a rapport with this Las Vegas crowd, although that shouldn’t be unexpected since it's a home-field advantage. They were always going to cheer for their hometown boys.
A few of their songs were a little more special to the band and the audience on hand. “On Top of the World” had everyone in the building singing along, and “Demons” is dedicated to Dan Reynolds’s sister who died of cancer. “Radioactive,” as we all know from the LeBron James Gatorade commercial, blows the roof off of Allegiant Stadium. A few tricks they pull off are the stage rising, the lead singer playing on the piano, and like a lot of bands using pyro to great effect. They are pulling out all the stops..
Some of the best moments for me though were when they stopped the show to go to the B-Stage and do an acoustic performance in the middle of the show, where the lead singer ran around the crowd in the middle of it. Another is where Cirque du Soleil comes out on stage for “Sharks.” And again, they do voice-over/pyro before “Enemy.” These were the standout moments of the live concert.
I've grown to love this band over the last ten or so years. They have a nice blend of rock ‘n’ roll songs and poppy hits I can get behind. I haven't seen them live myself, but I will someday. I still find myself singing along to their songs, despite what reputation they have, negative or otherwise. They represent an inspiring brand of music people should listen to. Their lyrics are catchy, and I enjoyed Imagine Dragons Live in Vegas tremendously. I think it'll be a huge hit on Hulu when it airs.
Imagine Dragons Live in Vegas streams on Hulu beginning July 14.