On Monday, July 20, I attended the Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors Tour at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA and it was one of the best shows I have attended thus far.
With fans waiting for doors to open at 6:30 p.m. for a good standing position by the stage (if they were located in the pit) or to find their seats in the house, excitement filled the air. I began to realize that fans within the arena were not only excited to see Imagine Dragons but supporting artists such as Halsey and Metric as well.
As the clock struck 7:30, the lights flickered off and soon New Jersey born singer Halsey took the stage. With an EP titled Room 93 out and her upcoming debut album Welcome to Badlands which will be released on August 28, Halsey energetically performed a seven song set-list. The “Ghost” singer explains how she had recently gotten her wisdom teeth taken out two days prior to the concert but the audience would have never guessed due to the fact that she did not show any pain, sang perfectly, and seemed to have been focused on making an impression on members in the audience who may have never heard of her before and to create a memorable one for her fans who were attending the show.
Throughout her performance, Halsey could be seen interacting with fans from both sides of the arena, leaning back, and laying on the ground for a couple of moments while she sang.
What had seemed to stand out the most when it came to Halsey’s performance was the moment right before she introduced her new single “New Americana.” Halsey explains that, “This song is not about smoking weed and listening to rap music. This song is about a generation raised on two things; pop culture and diversity. This is about a generation that is not afraid of change.”
After a performance of “Hurricane,” the lights rose once more and the audience stood in place waiting for more.
After around five minuets or so, out came Metric. Metric is a Canadian based rock band who had brought a different kind of sound that transitioned well from the relaxed indie music that was associated with Halsey to a more pumped up sound to get the audience dancing and ready for Imagine Dragons. Metric performed a nine song set-list which included Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World‘s “Black Sheep” and “Synthetica”. From every corner of the stadium could be seen audience members singing along and screaming “I love you Emily!”
Although the set-list began to feel a bit long, having Metric perform before Imagine Dragons was a great decision. Metric combined music that involved flashing lights (including light up sunglasses for the band members) and an amazing solo by lead guitarist James Shaw which not only prepared the audience for the main event but caused them to become excited for what will happen next.
Once Metric had finished their performance, the stage crew began to set up a white triangular curtain that covered the stage. Once the lights went out, the curtain showed sparkling images, smoke, and the silhouettes of the band members of Imagine Dragons. A roar of screams accompanied the fall of the curtain, with no time to take in the presence of the band, they immediately began playing “Shots.”
Imagine Dragons performed a total of 17 songs which included “On Top of The World,” “Radioactive,” and “It’s Time” but what was most memorable was the way the band would interact with one another and the audience. As soon as the show began, lead singer Dan Reynolds rushed towards the second stage (where he spent most of his time) to be close to the audience. During the performance of “On Top of The World” Reynolds had jumped off of the stage and walked amongst the first tier of the north side of the arena to interact with fans who were not in the pit. Other members such as bass player Ben McKee and guitarist Daniel Sermon were seen singing and laughing along with fans. Later in the show the band invited the audience to participate in a short stretching exercise.
It was amusing to watch the band members interact with one another as well. Reynolds introduced McKee as one of his enemies and found it important to state that McKee had won homecoming king when he was in high school because “no one else [in the band] won homecoming king.” McKee and Sermon would be seen playing their instruments side to side and facing one another while continuously joking around.
Throughout the concert, not only did the fans get to enjoy incredible music and an incredible light show but received insight on who Dan Reynolds is. Reynolds explains that he was saddened by the Charleston church shootings which was followed by a cover of “Forever Young.”
Finally, the band sent fans home with a performance of “The Fall” which was accompanied by an array of fallen confetti autumn leaves.
The Smoke + Mirrors Tour was one of the most exciting and interactive concerts I have been to. Not only was the audience relatively calm and did not push against one another to get closer to the stage but it seemed as though every artist that performed and every fan within the sold out show was there to enjoy every moment of it and make it last. In a way, the concert felt like home. A home where every member respected one another and came to show their support and appreciation.