Sweeping into the Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheater on July 18, American pop rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, Imagine Dragons played to a cheering crowd for their Evolve Tour.
With the show beginning at 7 p.m. the 14-year-old musician who won America’s Got Talent in 2016, Grace VanderWaal opened for Imagine Dragons creating a soothing atmosphere while fans shuffled in. Lines were still packed to get into the venue long after VanderWaal’s opening act took to the stage as attendees adjusted to new rules set at the Isleta Amphitheater barring bags longer than six inches as well as items such as lawn chairs and large umbrellas. Attendees of the concert were offered the option of purchasing rental lawn chairs or see through bags in the cases of purses. Alternatively a ziplock bag was provided for people to carry there positions in if they declined to purchase the see through totes.
Despite the long lines seats were quickly filled and the lawn was flooded with excited onlookers. After finishing up with her new song “Clearly” a reimagining of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” Grace VanderWaal thanked the cheering crowd as she introduced Imagine Dragons.
Smoke flooded the stage at 8:20 p.m. and the band erupted with popular 2012 hit “Radioactive”. After the song lead singer Dan Reynolds addressed the cheering crowd asking if they were ready to let go along with the band.
“Work, school, politics, leave it, leave it, leave it. This is a place of safety,” Reynolds said. “This is a place of equality. This is a place of no judgement of anyone, where you can be yourself unabashedly and I will be mine.”
The crowd cheered as Reynolds and the band began 2012 hit “It’s Time,” stopping at parts to allow audience members to sing the words. The band’s segment included drumming solos, guitar solos and confetti shooting into the air. At one point Reynolds himself disappeared from stage only to be seen running through the crowd with security guards close to him. Fans cheered and many ran towards him as he made his way back towards the stage.
During the concert Reynolds shifted the tone as he took a moment to address depression along with the stigma connected to it. He urged concert goers to realize that acknowledging depression was not a weakness but a strength.
“There is a stigmatization in our society today that is hurting our children, it’s hurting our youth, it’s killing our youth,” Reynolds said. “We must speak openly and honestly about depression.”
The crowd cheered at his words and continued to as he told his story about his own diagnosis and urged those struggling with depression to speak to friends, family and therapist.
“Your life is always worth living,” he told the crowd shortly before launching into the 2012 hit song “Demons.” The song marked a more soothing and calm part of the concert as members of the crowd sang along. Throughout the show the band played songs from both their 2012 album Night Visions as well as their 2017 album Evolve. Long after dark, lights filled the stage as they performed encores of many of there popular songs.
“Thank you for being here tonight,” Reynolds said. “What an incredible thing it is to come out to a new city every night, to feel at home, to feel amongst family. Thank you for providing us with that. It’s not every night that happens.”