Imagine Dragons has been one of our favorite live acts to cover ever since we first saw the Las Vegas rockers thrill the crowd at Firefly Festival in 2012. At that time they were playing one of the side stages but it was clear that they were destined for main stage performances and headlining gigs. Since that time we’ve covered them headlining at the Electric Factory, playing the main stage at Made in America (2013), and on Friday, March 7th, we headed over to the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ to catch them for a forth time as part of their ‘Into The Night’ tour.
To add excitement to our evening, another one of our favorite bands, ‘The Naked and Famous’, was also on the bill, making it a no-brainer to get there early. We saw The Naked and Famous last year in Philly at the Trocadero and it was one of the highlights of our entire year.
With uplifting, melodic songs like ‘Young Blood’, ‘Punching In a Dream’, ‘Hearts Like Ours’, and ‘In Rolling Waves’, the New Zealand outfit has no shortage of recognizable hits from their two studio albums.
Alisa Xayalith’s entrancing vocals were beautiful and haunting all at once as they drifted through the microphone and echoed throughout the venue. While it might not be true that everyone wants to be naked and famous (as Tricky once said) it should be noted that everyone should want to see The Naked and Famous. We’re fairly certain we could see them night after night and not grow weary of them. Those in the audience on Friday night seemed to share our enthusiasm for their performance, every bit as captivated by it as we were.
Had the show ended after The Naked and Famous we would have been content but the main course was still on its way and was served up by Imagine Dragons at 9pm. With a huge, visually stunning digital screen system behind them, Imagine Dragons hit the stage to a roar of cheers. Opening with ‘Fallen’ and ‘Tiptoe’, the band had fans eating out of the palm of their collective hand from the get-go.
Lead singer Dan Reynolds seems to have endless energy when he is on stage. Whether on the mic, banging away on a variety of drums, or bouncing around the stage he literally seems to feed off of the emotion of the crowd.
Those emotions ran the gamut from high to somber. One surreal moment came when they band performed an acoustic version of ‘Demons’ which they dedicated to Tyler Robinson, a young fan that had succumbed to cancer. Reynolds appeared almost in tears as he sang the lyrics and between his words the building was so quiet we think we heard a few pins drop. From there they had to bring fans up from the somber moment and what better way to do that then transitioning into ‘On Top of The World’? As a side note, the band formed ‘The Robinson Foundation’ after his passing to help raise money for childhood cancer (and the associated costs for families who are battling the disease). You can check out the foundation and make a donation by clicking here.
Other highlights included a cover of Rush’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ and the closing of their main set with their biggest hit, ‘Radioactive’. They returned for an encore that included ‘Bleeding Out’ and ‘Nothing Left to Say’.
This was the forth tour for their debut album ‘Night Visions’, an amazing feat by any standard. The band often still seems in awe of how far they have come in just two years, remarking that they never thought they’d be playing in front of big crowds like this. Fans will be thrilled to know that when this tour wraps up, Imagine Dragons will head back into the studio to record their second album. After the success of ‘Night Visions’ we can’t wait to hear what the follow up holds.
You can view the full set-list and additional photos in the gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):
Who We Are
Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
Tom Sawyer (Rush cover)
On Top of the World
Bleeding Out/Monster/Nothing Left to Say