I don’t attend concerts very often. In fact, until the one last week, I can’t recall the last time I went to a concert. Neither my husband and I are fond of crowds, and concerts are sometimes expensive. But when your favorite band comes within 200 miles of where you live, you must go.
When Imagine Dragons announced their tour dates for their Evolve tour, I was disappointed to find San Antonio wasn’t on their list. But both Dallas (six hours away) and Houston (three hours away) were on their tour for November.
Houston was closer and the date, a Sunday, worked out better so I grabbed tickets as soon as they came available.
Now before I tell you about the concert, let me say that it was awesome – great show, great seats. Part of me would like to delve right into the concert, but I think it is best to stick with a chronological order.
Besides a little rain, the 3 ½ hour drive to Houston was uneventful. We had never been to the Toyota Center – Home of the Houston Rockets. I was a little concerned about the downtown location as downtown San Antonio can be horrible for events, but I guess with a major-league NBA team and plenty of concerts, the folks at the Toyota Center have this down to a science.
Getting from the parking garage to the building, going through security and finding our seats on the floor was all so easy. We were pretty close – row 14 – right in the center on the floor in front of the stage. We bypassed the line for buying overpriced concert shirts and sweatshirts. (I had already made us shirts using my Cricut.)
Imagine Dragons had two opening acts – bands we had not heard before. Well, I did look at their songs on YouTube a few weeks before the concert, but I only listened to a song or two for each band.
K.Flay was first. Most songs I couldn’t understand what she was saying, but I did like the beat.
Next up was Grouplove. They were very energetic with an interesting/somewhat disgusting set resembling a mouth. I forgot to grab pictures of both acts, so these images were found on the Internet.
And then it was time…the crowd went wild as the opening clip about evolution showed on the screens behind and next to the stage. They started with “I Don’t Know Why” from their latest album Evolve. After that they intermixed songs from their older albums, Night Visions and Smoke + Mirrors, with the new songs.
Even though you were in a crowd of 18,000, this concert had more of an intimate feel as lead singer, Dan Reynolds, opened up with stories about the band, their songs and even his own struggle with depression, which led him to songwriting.
My favorite was the beginning where he talks about how the world wants to divide us – divide us by race, color, politics, looks, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and more – but that we as a group had come together in peace and equality. He talked about how in the last months, there had been people who tried to strike fear in our hearts about gathering together in large places to show how united we are, about gathering to show unity and peace through music. His speech thanking us for coming out lead right into one of my favorite songs (and their first hit) “It’s Time.”
You can check out this clip of Dan’s speech at the Dallas concert. (Sorry for the quality but couldn’t find a good one of only his speech from Houston and haven’t gotten the videos off my husband’s phone yet.)
Later, the band also showed off their musical talents when they moved from the main stage to a smaller stage at the back. Here guitarist Wayne Sermon took up the cello, drummer Daniel Platman played the viola, and bassist Ben McKee manned an upright bass as they did a cover of the late Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” as well as two of their own older songs. I have always liked the acoustic version of “Shots,” and they did that here.
The only negative for me about this back set was it was harder for those of us on the floor seats to see them.
Of course, then they returned to the main stage for some more songs. They ended with my favorite song for a live performance – “Radioactive” – where each member of the band plays various drums at the same time. Totally awesome to see it on YouTube but far better to see it in person! Definitely glad we went to this awesome show!