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Evolve World Tour with Imagine Dragons – Breaking Boundaries and Healing Hearts

A third night on this extended tour with Shutter 16

Photos by: Luke Jamroz

World wide tours are nothing new to pop culture giants Imagine Dragons, a band who has been busy all over the globe as of late. We’ve been lucky enough to see them handful of times on their current tour cycle, a trek that kicked off in AZ last September and will continue to take them all over the world until October of this year. Shutter 16 folks hung out with Imagine Dragons back in November 2017 in Charlotte, picked the tour back up over in Prague in April, and now, July 5th, they touched down in Raleigh at Coastal Credit Union Music Park. We were front and center – ready to be entertained, and most of all moved – once again.

The band is best known for, well at this point, quite a bit. 2012 found them releasing their Grammy Award-winning single “Radioactive”, which gave birth to the super fans, a staple in the band’s repertoire. From interactive live-streamed concerts to fan sing-alongs, the ID fans have become a community of family members, as music communities should be.

This phenomenon is old news when it comes to the concept of mega-fans, but the purity of loving a band and finding lasting friendships, unconditional love, and unwavering support while you’re at it is an aspect of music we often take for granted.

Picture this: a gigantor lighting setup that challenged even the most ambitious of arenas, shining and shimmering in sync with every clash of the drums; a venue so packed you become forced friends with those around you, willing to fight anyone who messes with the sardines smushed up against you; lazers, fog, lazers, confetti explosions, more lazers (a lotta lazers).

Tonight the nearly sold-out concert was no less than an overwhelming visual conglomerate of LED screens, pyrotechnics, and enough confetti to build a forest of color and fabulousness.

One of the most invigorating parts of going to shows is the once in a lifetime energy that flows through the venue. Sure, some bands stick to the same setlist’s, some mix it up. Some like to pull out new tricks and others like routines. But despite how a band likes to put on a show, they are putting it on the for brand new audiences each time.

Case and point: Reynold’s drum solo mid-show had the crowd get dangerously excited, pushing forward to catch just the tiniest up close glimpse of the magic center stage.

Case and point #2: Imagine Dragons’ dusted off an oldie but a goldie when they covered The Police’s oh so classic single “Every Breath You Take”. Through the entire set, the band displayed the show from their point of view by putting three mirror-like columns behind the band, scanning the crowd and projecting their sweaty, beautiful, emotional faces for everyone to see and be proud of. What good is a band without their Day One’s?

Despite the chops of the band’s lighting tech, there was nothing cooler, more intimate, and more isolating than seeing the thousands of iPhone screens light up the arena, illuminating the faces of the crowd that much more to the band that brought them all together. A sea of gorgeous heads in front you, and a constellation of stars behind you; a sight needed to be seen by all.

The band recently presented a brand new song baby titled “Born To Be Yours”, a track in collaborated with Kygo, released in the wake of lead singer Dan Reynold’s divorce with Aja Volkman. This is the sixth time ID has collab’d with another artist, though most have been with Khalid, a la “Sucker for Pain,” “Hands,” “Fear,”, the “Thunder / Young Dumb & Broke Medley” – not to mention the “Radioactive (Remix)” with Kendrick Lamar.

If you have heard anything remotely like that thing called music, you’ve undoubtedly heard an Imagine Dragons song, and like that genre of music or not I’m sure you bopped around happily to at least one of their songs. The songs are a slick formula of pop, rock, some vocal fun bits, heavy peculiar and differential drums, and even on occasion they surprise us with stripped down acoustics.

If you have not heard them on the radio, you’ve surely seen them on any of the numerous award shows. Or say…. the Superbowl week of shows around the biggest performance of the year anywhere.

Not only are their songs centered around the reality of mental health problems (i.e. “Demons” from 2012’s Night Visions), they are also trying to bring conversation to another topic that is stigmatized within their own community. Enter: Love Loud Festival.

First held last August, the Love Loud Festival aimed to start the much needed conversation about teen suicide and encourage acceptance of the LGBTQ+ youth. A documentary of the band’s experience, more specifically of vocalist Reynold’s experience, with issues at hand were thrown together for a special on HBO. Frequently, while out and about on the tour, you can find sound clips of Dan talking candidly about mental illness; it’s no wonder “Believer” is the song of the hour. This year, another festival date has been announced and scheduled for July 28th, 2018, at the Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Acts to hit the stage include Imagine Dragons, Zedd, Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Grace VanderWaal, Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees, Vagabon, A.W., and Cameron Esposito.

You have some time left to catch the dudes in ID on tour! They’ll be roaming down the East Coast and into the Midwest before heading overseas to the EU, then finishing up back where they started the tour, in Phoenix, AZ! It’s the end of an era, meaning you DON’T want to miss this opportunity. Get your tickets here!

See full gallery of the night here!

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