The LC was rocked last night with the Las Vegas indie-pop band, Imagine Dragons, as well as LA natives AWOLNATION. Not knowing what to expect from either band, I felt like I was on some emotional roller coaster ride because my thoughts about Imagine Dragons did not match the enthusiasm and energy of the crowd.
Imagine Dragons is not a bad band, just mediocre. Lead singer, Dan Reynolds seemed to try to keep everyone interested (or maybe just me) by having one arm lifted/raised throughout the set. When this arm was not raised, the mic stand was used as a prop, and raised as well. It was your standard fare of bro-rock. No chances were taken, nothing too crazy happened on stage, and everyone seemed sober. How lame.
Before starting “On Top of the World”, Reynolds asked if the audience was ready to dance, to which I was optimistic about, but unfortunately they failed yet again. Just because there are high-hats in a song, does not automatically make one want to dance, especially when the song is bad. The best part is when Reynolds beat his fist against his chest during one of his songs, but instead of looking passionate and humble, he only reminded me of a nice version of Mark Wahlberg in the classic film (in my mind), “Fear”. Reynolds joined the band by playing drums on an instrumental part of their last song. Sadly, this was the best part. It is possible that I am missing something, since the crowd enjoyed themselves, but I unfortunately did not.
AWOLNATION, with a Girl Talk-esque opening, came onto the stage around 10:00. With a bright white “AN” light and 4 flags hanging from the tops of the stage, their set design was simple. With just the opening, all of my preconceived notions were proved completely false.
They are extremely energetic and the talent is apparent. Drummer, Hayden Scott hit each and every note so powerfully that I was amazed the same amount of energy he started with, was the same at the end of the set. Bass player, David Amezcua was a pleasure to watch while he whipped his hair in time with the drum beats. A few points during the course of their set, the bass was so intense that it shook my skinny jeans.
Towards the end of the show, lead singer Aaron Bruno lead audience members in the sold-out arena in an acapella rendition of “Lean on Me”. I at first thought it was cheesy, but somehow they pulled it off. Their hit “Sail” seemed to be sung by all in attendance, as cell phones simultaneously rose in the air as if there was some memo that I did not receive. They lost me at the end of their set because of the nearly 15 minute song, “Knights of Shame”. I was surprised at AWOLNATION as a band. They are so much more than “Sail”, but are not on my priority list as a band I would like to see again.
Special thanks to Brandy Walker and Kristina Keck for their photography.