Sunday, February 18, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Imagine Dragons inspire a revolution of noise

It seems these days that unless your band wears sepia vests and suspenders, you have no business crashing the Billboard pop charts.

No one, however, cc'd that message to Imagine Dragons, whose sweeping, dynamic radio rock has made them one of the year's breakout bands, with nary a banjo in tow.

On the strength of three platinum singles — It's Time, Demons and the blockbuster anthem Radioactive, all from their debut album Night Visions — the Vegas quartet has joined bands like Fun. and OneRepublic in an up-with-people coup d'état of America's pop-rock universe.

To quote Radioactive: It's a revolution, I suppose. And the 5,854 fans who packed the University of South Florida Sun Dome to see Imagine Dragons on Tuesday night were eager to play their part.

This was Imagine Dragons' third local concert in 17 months, but their first as a headliner, which allowed fans to hear the band's arena-quality singles cranked up to that level. Singer Dan Reynolds, a former Mormon missionary, belted 'em out Night Visions cuts like Amsterdam and Tiptoe with a big ol' bellow, but let fans do the heavy lifting on It's Time, letting the song's build-you-up chorus fill the Sun Dome.

Reynolds is an athletically built 6-foot-plus, which no doubt helps with the band's live strength: Their all-hands-on-deck approach to percussion. There were no fewer than six drums and kits on stage — including a gargantuan, table-sized drum that rumbled the arena whenever Reynolds and bassist Ben McKee saw fit to pound away — and every member was free to wallop at will. Imagine if U2 fired Larry Mullen Jr. and hired the Blue Man Group — that's how big and percussive each song sounded.

Adventurous ditties like the afrobeat-tinged Rocks and bouncy soukous shuffler On Top of the World offered a glimpse inside the group's diverse musical minds. McKee, guitarist Wayne Sermon and drummer Daniel Platzman all studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and it showed on the gentle ballad 30 Lives, when Platzman pulled out a violin to give Reynolds a classical backing.

And here's a neat trick: On the crescendoing Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older), Sermon — the cerebral Edge to Reynolds' chest-pounding Bono, chiming away beneath his Almost Famous mane —hurled a tambourine 20 feet over his head, straight into the waiting palms of touring keyboardist Ryan Walker. (Hey, these guys ARE from Vegas, after all.)

When Imagine Dragons finally ripped through Radioactive, with its rafter-rattling refrain ("Welcome to the new age! To the new age! To the new age!"), every member went back to the drums, pulverizing each skin with atom-bomb force. Fans were dancing in the aisles as the Sun Dome rumbled.

It was as if the band was saying: Go ahead, have fun with your little banjos. We've got our drumsticks, and we're taking them worldwide.

Welcome to the new age, indeed.

Comments
Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Kelsea Ballerini gets close to fans, digs into ‘Unapologetically’ at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Kelsea Ballerini has a story to tell. It's the story of the last three crazy years of her life, from a breakup to the Grammys to a marriage and all the "life, growing up, self-discovery" in between.If you heard her new album Unapologetically, it's a ...
Published: 02/17/18
Review: Rufus Wainwright makes magic from melancholy at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Review: Rufus Wainwright makes magic from melancholy at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

It wasn't Carnegie Hall; it wasn't even Milwaukee. But for a certain kind of lover, there was no finer place to spend Valentine's night than the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater."What a wonderful little town," said Rufus Wainwright, playing his first Ta...
Published: 02/15/18
Updated: 02/16/18
Colin Quinn suffers heart attack, postpones Saturday’s show at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Colin Quinn suffers heart attack, postpones Saturday’s show at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater

Comic Colin Quinn has postponed his concert on Saturday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, but at least he has a valid reason: He suffered a heart attack on Valentine's Day."My heart goes out to all the people who bought tickets to my show. Litera...
Published: 02/15/18
Smashing Pumpkins’ reunited lineup coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Smashing Pumpkins’ reunited lineup coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

If you're a Smashing Pumpkins fan, today is the greatest day you've ever known.After weeks of speculation, the band is getting back on the road with a mostly reunited classic lineup led by frontman Billy Corgan, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy ...
Published: 02/15/18
This week’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Kelsea Ballerini, Wyclef Jean and more

This week’s best concerts: Mary J. Blige, Kelsea Ballerini, Wyclef Jean and more

LEGEND IN THE MAKING: Kelsea BalleriniComing off a debut with three No. 1 singles — Love Me Like You Mean It, Dibs and Peter Pan — it’s no surprise Kelsea Ballerini was feeling the pressure before dropping her sophomore album Unapologetically last fa...
Published: 02/14/18
Kelsea Ballerini talks about pressure, Time’s Up and avoiding the sophomore slump

Kelsea Ballerini talks about pressure, Time’s Up and avoiding the sophomore slump

Though she may be a Grammy-nominated star today, Kelsea Ballerini doesn't know if she could do it again if she had to start over right now as a teenager."I remember moving to Nashville when I was 15, and I swore I was ready," said Ballerini, 24. "I s...
Published: 02/14/18
SoundBytes: The Descendents, Jacuzzi Boys, Goldlink and more

SoundBytes: The Descendents, Jacuzzi Boys, Goldlink and more

— St. Petersburg has been on a real hot streak of shows by all-time punk legends the last couple of years: X, Social Distortion, the Damned, Jello Biafra … and now the Descendents, playing their first Tampa Bay show in more than 20 years....
Published: 02/13/18
Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Tesla coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Tesla coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Just in time for Father's Day comes another classic rock package tour that'll knock  your dad's argyles off.Styx, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Tesla are teaming up for a summer tour that'll hit Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre o...
Published: 02/13/18
Kelsea Ballerini talks pressure, #TimesUp and avoiding the sophomore slump

Kelsea Ballerini talks pressure, #TimesUp and avoiding the sophomore slump

There’s a reason you didn’t see Kelsea Ballerini at this year’s Grammys."Last year was my first year going because I was nominated, and I realized while sitting there that I feel like it’s the kind of thing you want to show up to when you have a reas...
Published: 02/13/18
Tickets on sale this week: Styx with Joan Jett, Country Megaticket, Cedric the Entertainer, Rays home games

Tickets on sale this week: Styx with Joan Jett, Country Megaticket, Cedric the Entertainer, Rays home games

Tickets for the following events go on sale this week:• Country Mega Ticket, various dates and times at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, $159-$799, on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the box office, 4802 U.S. 301 N, or by calling (813) 740-...
Published: 02/12/18
Updated: 02/14/18