Imagine Dragons is a band blowing up to epic proportions. Hailing from Las Vegas and virtually anonymous a year ago, I was surprised when I stumbled upon their near-sellout of a show at Irving Plaza this evening. The last time they played NYC was earlier this year at Pianos, a venue one tenth this size. Listening to their just-released, debut album, Night Visions, it’s clear why they’ve moved up so far and so fast.
The band is an alternative rock group that I endearingly refer to as The Killers Jr. They definitely channel that rock sound that was very popular in the mid-aughts. Combined with some pop elements and some really heavy production values, they have mastered the art of creating accessible music that doesn’t sacrifice on intelligence.
The sole opener for this show was a promising local act called Ghost Beach. They are a trio composed of synth, bass and drums, with a singer whose voice eerily reminds me of Hot Hot Heat‘s vocalist. By their set time, the venue was already packed. They blasted out some dancey rock for a thirty minute set, and successfully piggybacked off the anticipation for Imagine Dragons, getting a crowd who knew nothing about them to dance and shout with glee.
As for Dragons, well whoever’s guiding them sure is doing it right. They’ve already got the aire of a stadium rock group, which is a bit unsettling to ponder. They hit plenty of items on the checklist for rocking out; You’ve got the giant, standing drum to bang on, an encore featuring the extended rock out, and plenty of soon-to-be anthems to dance to throughout the performance. The audience was under their spell, dancing and even singing along at points, an absurd concept considering the band’s short tenure in the public eye. It’s not the slightest bit difficult to imagine we will be seeing a lot more of them in the near future.