BY TER STAFF
When Imagine Dragons last performed for their Windy City fans, it was at the Allstate Arena on June 15th, 2015. That same night, the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in a thrilling game six victory at the United Center. Just a couple years later, Chicago is hoping that the Las Vegas natives bring their good luck again, as the defending World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs, are facing elimination at Wrigley Field, as Imagine Dragons perform just a few miles away, and where else, the United Center.
But irregardless of the story that would be told at the historic Wrigley Field tonight, music fans took home the “W” as Imagine Dragon’s Evolve Tour delivered from start to finish. From K.Flay’s amazing performance to warm up her homestate crowd to Imagine Dragon’s encore performance of ‘Believer’, no fan left with their voice and everyone left having a memorable night.
While Imagine Dragon certainly did their part to sell the lion’s share of tickets for their headlining sold-out show, the tour’s supporting acts of K.Flay and GROUPLOVE put on a great performance in their own right and gave fans reason to head to the arena moments after doors opened. Wilmette, Illinois native K.Flay blew the crowd away with her impressive vocals, performing a half-hour of her stand out tracks, including ‘Blood In The Cut’ and ‘High Enough’.
While technically labeled a rapper, K.Flay has a diverse sound that Top 40, indie and hip-hop fans alike can enjoy. A sound so great and diverse that it caught the attention of Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynolds who signed the Everywhere Is Some Where artist to his “Night Street Records” imprint. Although Chicago fans tonight weren’t late to the K.Flay party, it’s time to hop on the bandwagon now, because Illinois’ own has been gaining momentum ever since her 2014 debut.
Among the tour’s supporting act was also the Los Angeles indie pop band, GROUPLOVE. Led by Hannah Hopper, GROUPLOVE delivers a polarizing sound that may not be for everyone, but either way, the group brought a ton of energy and character to the entire night. While we certainly enjoyed GROUPLOVE’s set, their live performance might be enjoyed best during a more intimate headlining club show.
After crew finished prepping the stage for the act of the night, it was time for Imagine Dragons to greet their Chicago fans. Kicking things off with their new album’s opening track, ‘I Don’t Know Why’, the crowd erupted from the general admission pits to the nosebleeds. The band emerged through the laser lights as their giant video board supplemented their performance.
Directly after, Dan Reynolds took a moment to get serious before his band performed their 2012 track, ‘It’s Time’. Speaking on the recent tragedy and shooting in Las Vegas, which especially hits close to home to the Las Vegas-natives, Reynolds refused to allow anyone to destroy people’s love for music, which set the stage for ‘It’s Time’, a track that Reynolds wrote during a very difficult and depressing time of his life.
And while the crowd shared an intimate and sincere moment with the band early on, it hardly set the tone for the rest of the night. Throughout the set Imagine Dragons performed a catalog of their biggest hits from the past decade, of course with a lot of attention to their newest LP, where the tour get its name.
One highlight of the performance included the band’s B-stage visit, where fans closer to the back got an up-close performance of ‘Bleeding Out’, ‘Dream’ and a tribute to the late great Tom Petty with ‘I Won’t Back Down’. As Reynolds returned to the catwalk and the clock started to creep on midnight and word traveled that the Cubs got the win, Imagine Dragon’s closed out their set with a memorable performance of their mega-hit ‘Radioactive’, only to return to the stage for some free music when the band truly ended the night with an encore performance of ‘Believer’.
We were all believers tonight, and Imagine Dragons did not disappoint. Chicago fans already can’t wait until the band’s next visit.