In 2009, an unknown band played in a “Utah’s Got Talent” contest and won. Their prize was $2500 and the opportunity to be one of five bands to open for Kelly Clarkson.
Imagine Dragons was that band. Since the release of the band’s first album, 2012’s “Night Visions,” Imagine Dragons has been on a rapid ascent to stardom. Songs like “Radioactive,” “It’s a Time” and “Demons” helped cement their place as one of music’s biggest acts.
Now touring in support of their 2017 “Evolve” album, Imagine Dragons started their recent Austin performance with three of their biggest sings, “Radioactive,” “It’s Time,” and one of their new singles from the “Evolve” album, “Whatever It Takes.” Fans were treated to confetti, pyrotechnics, and also balloons which the crowd batted around. “Austin is where Imagine Dragons got our break…We were discovered and signed at SXSW,” said lead singer Dan Reynolds between songs.
“There are people out there tonight who have depression and anxiety that are holding it in. Don’t hold it in. Talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to a loved one.” ~ Dan Reynolds
Midway through the show the band stripped down for an acoustic set, which included “Born to be Yours,” “Amsterdam,” and “I Bet My Life.” During “I Bet My Life,” Reynolds walked through the fans high fiving and hugging as he wound his way back to the stage. This interaction with the fans made the concert more personable and brought the concert to the fans on the lawn, giving them a front row seat to the show. Reynolds seemed to always go out of his way to connect with fans, whether it was talking about his depression or inviting fans to “leave your problems, work, and politics at the door. This is a place of safety and diversity.”
As the band neared the end of their set, Reynolds, took time to talk to the crowd about serious issues like depression, and anxiety, both issues he has dealt with during his life. “There are people out there tonight who have depression and anxiety that are holding it in,” he said. “Don’t hold it in. Talk to your family, talk to your friends, talk to a loved one. You are not broken, you’re unique, your mind is unique. We need you. Don’t ever take your life from us.” The band went straight into “Demons,” a song which deals with battling the personal demons and challenges in his life. A positive message, not just for the older crowd, but also for the many younger fans in attendance.
As the energy flowed, the crowd roared when the band played their catchy “Thunder,” then closed down the night with “On Top of the World,” and “Believer.” There was no encore, and this left some fans wanting more music. From “Radioactive” to “Believer,” the show was filled with positive messages of hope for overcoming adversity and embracing second chances.
Cover photo by Nolan Knight