Last Saturday, I had the privilege of going to the Imagine Dragons concert at the Izod Center in East Rutherford. The special occasion was my friend’s 16th birthday, and she invited along some friends to see the band live.
For weeks, I’ve been counting down the days until the concert, and when the day finally came, I was beyond excited.
For those who haven’t tuned into the radio recently, Imagine Dragons is an alternative rock band that is just starting to be noticed among the music crowd.
The band’s most popular songs — “Radioactive,” “It’s Time” and “Demons” — have been used as the soundtrack for countless TV shows, movies and commercial. Catchy and energetic, it’s no wonder the music frequents the iTunes Top 10 as often as it does.
The first opening act, Nico Vega, was already well into its set when we arrived. I hadn’t heard of this band before, but I instantly fell in love with lead singer Aja Volkman’s powerful vocals. The entire band was energetic and got very into its music. At one point, Volkman jumped off the drum set.
After further research, I discovered she is married to and has a child with Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds. If you enjoy Imagine Dragons music, I’d suggest checking out Nico Vega.
The Naked and Famous, the other opening act, wasn’t so enjoyable. I’m not a big fan of its music style, which is a sort of electronic indie pop. After a while, each song started to blend together in my mind. The band as a whole was energetic, and I have no doubt fans would have enjoyed the performance; it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Finally, at 9 p.m., the opening acts were over and Imagine Dragons was about to perform. There was a collective buzz of excitement in the air as instruments were being moved onstage and decorations were revealed. The large circle that hung at the back of the stage brought up questions, but everything was silenced once the band took the stage.
Once the music began, the stage lit up in various colors, illuminating the members as they played their various instruments. The circle that was previously black showed an image of a moon. Throughout the concert, the image changed to footage of breathtaking landscapes, eerie forests and bright oceans. At points, it displayed live video of the concert, including solitary band members, but also people in the audience.
Another addition to the onstage props were cannons that shot out smoke. During an uplifting rendition of “On Top of the World,” large, brightly colored balloons were released into the audiences and popped, unleashing confetti.
Besides its impressive visual effects, Imagine Dragons did not hold back on sound. One thing I can confidently say about the band is the members have a powerful stage presence. Reynolds was really able to connect with the audience through tasteful vocals and anecdotes between songs.
The audience also knew how to respond appropriately. With the more-popular tunes, the entire crowd sang along at the top of its lungs. When a song was dedicated to a recently deceased friend of the band, the stadium was brightened with lights swaying back and forth to the soulful music.
Altogether, this experience is one I’ll never forget. From the high energy to the astounding visuals, Imagine Dragons certainly puts on a great show.
With a combination of spectacular sound and dazzling visuals, Imagine Dragons thrilled the crowd in North Jersey last Saturday.