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Percussion and Passion: Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION light up Club Nokia

Percussion and Passion: Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION light up Club Nokia


It’s pretty rare to go to a show and be totally blown away by the opening act, but that’s what happened last Thursday night when we saw AWOLNATION perform at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, AWOLNATION was amazing, but Imagine Dragons was absolutely incredible. They hands-down stole the show. Having heard a few songs on the radio, I knew of Imagine Dragons, but not much. I knew I liked them, but I didn’t know I would walk away loving them! Imagine Dragons took the stage around 9 PM – the band played for just over an hour and absolutely killed it. They left the crowd on their feet, mesmerized.

Song after song was amazing and fresh – that’s one of the best qualities of both Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION – you can listen to their albums cover to cover. It’s as if neither band can write a bad song. However, it was the raw performance and undeniable enthusiasm exuded by lead singer Dan Reynolds that set Imagine Dragons apart from most other bands we’ve seen recently. For starters, they had a gigantic bass drum on stage – front and center, no less. It’s rare to see a lead-singer/drummer, but Reynolds pulled it off masterfully, belting his heart out and beating that bass drum—and even his drummer’s drum set, whenever he felt like it—so hard he must’ve broken five drum sticks (and probably threw another eight into the crowd because…um, I don’t know…why not?)

What makes the whole performance even more impressive was the relatively bare bones stage and light set-up. In today’s concert world, most performers have elaborate lasers, lightshows and other visual effects adding energy and giving fans much more to focus on. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good lightshow as much as the next guy, but it takes a lot of pressure off the artist. Imagine Dragons hardly had any of that – it was pretty much just them and their instruments, leaving little room for error. Despite that fact, Imagine Dragons literally put on one of the most electrifying shows we’ve seen in a long time – mad props to ID!

Several times this Las Vegas band genuinely thanked the L.A. crowd for its support over the past few years as Imagine Dragons has grinded its way into the music scene. Dan Reynolds gave another shout-out at one point mentioning the band had a lot of family in the crowd, and the band sure played like it – making every note count; hitting each stroke as if at any moment it could be their last.


To get a taste of what we’re talking about, check out this video from the show of Imagine Dragons performing “Radioactive” – at the very least fast forward to the 3:50 mark and watch as Dan go NUTS on his drums! If Imagine Dragons is scheduled to play in your town, take my word—you do not want to miss this show!



These guys are the real deal. Admittedly I’m a new fan – I’m sure there’s a lot of die-hard’s that have been following them since they formed in 2008 that are saying “duh” right now. While Imagine Dragons is gaining traction and have already put out a couple radio-worthy hit singles, they haven’t totally arrived yet. But make no mistake about it, they will. If you haven’t already, check out their new album Night Visions – you’ll love it! And when you do, rest assured that there will be plenty more where that came from because these guys aren’t going anywhere but up.


One thing to not overlook is the passionate performace by AWOLNATION that night as well. See our up-close and personal footage of "Sail". You can say we were all over the place Thursday night, or you can just blame it on our ADD...


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