Bringing what the band called “a judgment-free zone” to Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday, Imagine Dragons delivered one of the most energetic and positive shows to make its way through the Music City this year.
Performing a nearly two-hour show, the Las Vegas band featured a family-friendly set—literally, as lead singer Dan Reynolds and guitarist Wayne Sermon both stated that their parents were in attendance on Tuesday. In support of their third-studio album, “Evolve,” Imagine Dragons' Nashville set featured 21 songs, including 10 off of their most recent album.
While mostly playing tracks off “Evolve,” the band did make sure to sprinkle the set with their hit songs. The remainder of Imagine Dragons’ setlist included a good mix of songs from their first two albums, a surprise cover and plenty of confetti—on at least five tracks, the band shot off confetti guns.
The alternative rockers have started make a name for themselves on the political scene, not afraid to speaking out on issues important to them. Tuesday night was no exception, as the band addressed a variety of social issues, including LGBTQ rights and mental health.
During the second song of the night, “It’s Time,” Reynolds was handed a Pride flag from the audience, draping it over him, before handing it back to the crowd.
After 14 songs, Imagine Dragons took a quick break as they booked their way to back of the auditorium, where a stage was set up just behind the soundboard. The band went on to perform three stripped down songs from out there, “Born to be Yours,” “Amsterdam,” and “I Bet My Life.” During the final tune out on that stage, Reynolds made his way through the crowd, shaking hands, while bellowing out the words to “I Bet My Life.”
Once returning, the band delved into their song “Demons,” where, after the first chorus, Reynolds got personal with the audience on the topic of mental health.
“There’s one thing that I want to share, that I’ve been sharing all tour and this is very important to me,” the lead singer stated. “We have a stigmatization today in our society that is hurting our children, hurting our youth and even killing our youth. We must speak openly and honestly about depression, anxiety and therapy.
“I was diagnosed with depression many years ago, sitting in a seat with a therapist. This does not make me weak; this does not make me broken. In fact, it’s incredibly wise to reach out and talk to somebody. Don’t keep them [feelings] to yourself,” Reynolds advised. “If you feel these feelings, reach out to a friend, talk to your family or go see a therapist. It makes you incredibly wise and strong. Your mind is not broken. I know the grayness, I know the numbness, but there is light up ahead. Continue on. Your life is always worth living.”
Imagine Dragons had the crowd energized from the get-go, when the opening notes from the band’s smash hit “Radioactive” chimed in. The band then emerged together, rising from platform on the back in the back of the stage. After a quick drum solo, the band split up, as a shirtless and muscular Reynolds headed straight down the middle of the runway, bowing to the crowd, before fully starting the hit song.
Imagine Dragons followed that with two of their bigger hits with “It’s Time” and “Whatever It Takes.” During the middle of the set, the band unveiled a short cover of “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, which proved as a good intro to Imagine Dragon’s “I’ll Make It Up To You.”
After returning to the main stage from the soundboard, the rockers concluded their set with four of their famous songs, first performing the aforementioned “Demons.” Imagine Dragons followed that with their wildly successful hit song, “Thunder,” at the end of which, the band covered the audience in confetti.
On their second to last song, the feel-good “On Top of the World,” large, white balloons dropped from the ceiling. The crowd began batting the balloons around, the majority of which ended up popping.
Imagine Dragons concluded their set with “Believer,” a song that became a smash hit after being featured by ESPN in its promotion of college football games. Before walking off stage, the band met at the middle of the runway, taking a bow and waving to the Nashville crowd.
Dressed with a crown of flowers, as well as a mic stand decorated with flowers, Grace VanderWaal took the stage first. Though there wasn’t a huge crowd to start her performance, more of the audience started to trickle in the middle of her set in order to catch the 14-year-old ukulele playing singer who came to the nation's attention on “America’s Got Talent.”
Delivering a bubbly and energetic performance VanderWaal put on a nearly 45-minute set, which set the mood perfectly for the headliners.