As an indie rock band out of Las Vegas, Nevada, one may not have expected Imagine Dragons to do what they’ve done – headline a relatively successful North American tour, gain a solid footing in domestic radio, and dominate the charts so early in their careers; their debut album Night Visions had the best first week by a rock band since 2006 with over 80 thousand units sold.
Appearing at Toronto’s Sound Academy last night, the band put on one hell of a show, providing somewhat abstract, though themed musical interlude between each song to lead into the next. Lead singer Dan Reynolds even seemed to drop vebal hints to the audience between songs as to which might come next, and did his best to develop a special relationship with the crowd. “We’re only back here because of you,” he said, going on to express his and the band’s gratitude for the audience members’ contributions to the band’s gaining popularity through the sharing of their music with friends, family, and social media sites.
The Sound Academy was, admittedly, not the greatest place to see a band play and, after having checked some reviews of the venue online, I was beginning to dread going entirely; 1-star reviews dominated a good portion of websites, citing poor viewing angles, horrible sound quality, and a ridiculous floor plan. As we arrived, pulling up to the former nightclub to see a legitimately massive line out front waiting to get through security, we realized the road was a one-way-in-one-way-out kind of deal and so pulled a U-turn, went back up the street, and parked in an Asian grocery store’s parking lot less than a block away to avoid the $20 parking fee at the lot directly across from the venue. Nicely done!
Once inside I was more impressed with the venue that I thought I’d be and, while there were some negative aspects, the night was a general success. It seems, as a side note, that the tallest people in the known world (with afros, sometimes) attend events at which a person’s height is a general guarantee or damnation of viewing angle and thus enjoyment – this is the bane of ‘general admission,’ though, I suppose. The sound quality turned out to be just fine, and while a simple bottle of water cost $5.25, the overall facilities were enough to impress me; that said, I can’t wait for the band to continue their meteoric rise in popularity and eventually land in a venue with tiered seating of some kind so that actually seeing the show isn’t the biggest issue of the night.
Some of the highlights? Check out these clips (and I apologize in advance for the quality):
Click above to redirect to Imagine Dragons’ website.