The city of Los Angeles buzzed a little louder than usual during one of the biggest weeks of the year in music. With the Grammys just a few short days away, Citi® presented an exclusive performance by Grammy Award nominated rock band Imagine Dragons. The exclusive concert event was only available to Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi ThankYou® Premier, and Citi Prestige® cardmembers, and in turn was held to benefit the Grammy Foundation. Families, young and mature adults alike filed into the legendary Wiltern theatre to catch an intimate opportunity.
Photos by Sharon Alagna
Filing into the historic Wiltern theatre, photo booths, stocked bars and plasma televisions projecting the stage lined the walls and hallways of the lobby. The stage was set up accordingly with large bass drums on either side of the stage, making the anticipation for the band intensify. With each seat taken, chatter of excitement filled the air as the stage lights lit up and right on time the Las Vegas natives immediately welcome fans with open arms.
Sure enough, the moment lead singer Dan Reynolds broke their opening song, “Amsterdam,” their fans below belted back without missing a note. Reynolds’ intense interaction with the band rallied the crowd throughout their performance. At one point they even took a breather to reminisce how they first played LA few years prior at the Cat Club. Imagine Dragons shared their love and appreciation for the City of Angels and its welcoming demeanor to always feeling like home to the band.
Two drum kits rattled the stage, one of which Reynolds played to open up their second song, “Tiptoe.” A deep purple lighting lit up the stage, revealing a packed crowd, all on their feet dancing. The rattling of the floor could have been from the heavy bass or the stomps from fans. Before you knew it, the band took to a mood change. White disco like lights and the band’s harmonic humming hushed the crowd while transitioning to “Hear Me.”
What was the most impressive was the amount of energy both Reynolds and the whole band possessed throughout every song. Props to Reynolds, who balanced both strong vocals and equally impressive percussions. Along with their infectious energy and stage presence, Imagine Dragons had a real treat for the fans. Reynolds stepped up to fill some huge shoes as he announced the next song was in fact going to be a cover song of their favorite U2 song, “With or Without You”. Every light dimmed out, minus a few purple stage lights for Bono-eyewear-fashion. The crowd successfully chimed in for the first chorus and the boys certainly did the song justice.
Finally, they slowly introduced their next song “It’s Time.” Reynolds only had to sing the first few lines before the whole theatre rang out the lyrics. Reynolds had no choice but to stick out the mic stand and the whole theatre sang the chorus perfectly.
Reynolds danced along with a clapping two step without missing a beat. The whole band danced around, obviously enjoying such a moment of success and fun days before the highly anticipated Grammy Award Ceremony. Flashing peace signs, every members’ face emulated pure gratitude back at their fans. Reynolds articulated great thanks for supporting the fans and supporting live music. It wasn’t long before the performance was jolted back into more music with a few more tracks left on the set list. Large green, yellow and white confetti-filled balloons were thrown into the crowd and burst confetti amongst fans during “Underdog.”
Reynolds even took it upon himself to pop several of them with his drum stick; he even caught one and popped it over drummer’s head during his drum solo, which then turned into a whole band percussion participation, which transitioned into the 2014 Grammy nominated (Record of the Year/Rock Performance) hit single, “Radioactive.”
The heavy use of percussions brought the song a whole new feel and life to the song, compared to the radio edit version which has a dubstep-like, synthized persuasion sound. Witnessing it live made the single so much more intense and left a punch in the walls.
The use of persuasions on stage brought so much more life and a heartbeat to the band’s sound and on stage presence as they all moved to and fro, trading and tossing the drumsticks to one another. You weren’t seeing a band with a lead singer and members who each had their place in the band– you were witnessing a performance that left all wanting more and surely left me anticipating what they have in store for their Grammy performance the next weekend.
With or Without You (U2 cover)
Nothing Left to Say