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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

February 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Imagine Dragons puts on a post-Grammy party at the Key | Concert review

(Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times)

(Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times)

Less than three weeks after winning a Grammy Award and joining in a star-studded Beatles tribute on the 54th annual telecast, Imagine Dragons arrived in Seattle Tuesday for a sold-out concert that felt like a giant Grammy after-party for local fans. (See the gallery for additional photos.)

The Las Vegas group, currently on its “Into the Night” arena tour — which features songs from its 2012 debut album, “Night Visions,” and breakthrough single “Radioactive” — performed an explosive, entertaining show at KeyArena.

Led by singer Dan Reynolds, who seemed humbled by a whirlwind year that has placed Imagine Dragons at the center of the rock universe, the band offered a raucous, high-spirited set enhanced by smoke plumes, elaborate lighting effects and a giant circular video screen that displayed otherworldly images.

Reynolds often held his microphone over the multigenerational crowd, which sang along to tunes from “Night Visions,” a runaway success that peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. During the uplifting “On Top of the World,” fans gleefully batted beach balls back and forth on the main floor.

Imagine Dragons, which began its career playing for tourists on the Las Vegas Strip, knows the value of working a crowd and offering high-energy entertainment. The four-member band has enjoyed a huge growth spurt in the last 12 months, culminating in a recent appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

The fast-paced concert was carefully orchestrated, with a few elements (including guitar and drum solos) straight from the arena-rock handbook.

The set list featured such songs as “Fallen,” “Monster,” “Demons,” “Radioactive” and the Rush classic “Tom Sawyer,” a childhood favorite of the band’s (performed without the benefit of Geddy Lee’s high-pitched vocals).

The concert came to a noisy finish with a lengthy, pull-out-the-stops version of the hard-rocker “Nothing Left to Say,” as a blazing fireball was depicted on the video screen.

Imagine Dragons picked two unusually strong opening acts — alternative-rockers The Naked and Famous (from Auckland, New Zealand) and X Ambassadors (of Brooklyn, N.Y.), whose song “Stranger” was cowritten by Reynolds of Imagine Dragons.

Singer-musician Alisa Xayalith of The Naked and Famous was awed by the huge crowd.
“We’re not used to playing in venues this big,” she said. “It’s a surreal experience for us.”

Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: "Night Visions", "Radioacdtive", Grammy Awards


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