Most bands save their big hit singles for last…It’s a strategy that makes sense if you’re worried that people are waiting around to hear that one song and will leave if you play it any sooner. Yet Sunday evening, two’s bands took a gamble and played their “big” singles earlier in the set. And guess what? The packed house remained packed. That’s how hooked Imagine Dragons and AWOLNATION‘s fans were on their sets. From the diehards to the casual radio-only listeners, everyone wanted to hear every second of this show; it was that good.
Las Vegas’ Imagine Dragons opened up the show and blew Kansas City away with their happy go lucky sound combined with darker, insightful lyrics. This was the first time Kansas City has had the treat of seeing these percussion-loving guys live. The band’s sound is a little reminiscent of another Vegas’ band’s sound, The Killers, in the sense that both have big driving drum lines and plenty of arena-ready hooks. Their style varies a lot though and Kansas City loved every key and tempo change of this set. From the heavier sound of “Radioactive” to the whistling, cheery sounds of “On Top of the World,” the audience kept up with everything, adding their own claps, cheers and stomps.
“Not many people know this, but I used to live in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. I love this place.” -Imagine Dragons’ frontman announced before launching into the stomp=stomp-clap of “It’s Time.” It ways a fitting introduction to a song about remembering where you come from and feelings of nostalgia. With a band as poised as these guys are to takeover the music scene, hopefully they’ll continue to stay true to this song and remember who they are: a talented, down-to-earth group of guys. Don’t change, guys; you’re awesome as you are.
Speaking of awesome: AWOLNATION. This band has played Kansas City before and each time they return, it’s been to a bigger, more enthusiastic town. At this rate, they’ll be selling out the Sprint Center and other amphitheatres in no time. So see them in these club venues while you can. AWOLNATION was filming this performance, so while they already give it their all, they seemed to find some extra energy for this show. Barely a song into the set, and singer Aaron Bruno already had his shoes off and was diving into the crowd. Poor guy even lost his socks doing that, but that didn’t deter him from continuing to have a great night.
AWOLNATION has an interesting sound – it’s surprisingly heavy rock without quite crossing into hardcore; although they’ll head bang at times. Bruno gets a bit of a growl to his voice that really accentuates certain lyrics and then when he’s really feeling passionate, the growl will turn into more of a yell. What I really like about this band though is that while they have this drippingly thick, molasses like sound going on with some of the instruments, they’ll throw on a staccato guitar line. Hit single “Sail” is a great example of this, and the juxtaposition of the two sounds just works.
The band has been touring pretty heavily behind Megalithic Symphony, but they treated the audience to several new tunes and even some surprise twists to the current songs. I can’t wait to hear the next album based on the teasers I heard at the show.
You can check out the full set lists and photos from both bands below.
Imagine Dragons Set List:
On Top of the World
Nothing Left to Say
AWOLNATION Set List:
Guilty Filthy Soul
Not Your Fault
Kid (new song)
Jump on My Shoulders
Cannibals (new song)
Kill Your Heroes
All I Need
Burn It Down
Knights of Shame