Peaceful crickets chirp and echo throughout the walls while translucent, green strobe lights illuminate Alumni Hall. During this spellbinding and transient opening, hundreds of fortunate PSU students cheered, creating massive hype and intense energy for the talented trailblazers, Imagine Dragons.
SPA kicked off Penn State’s birthday with a killer indie-rock party Wednesday night, as Imagine Dragons performed their latest album, “Night Visions”, to a full crowd. It’s no wonder tickets sold out in less than an hour thanks to the Vegas-based band’s stellar performance.
Judging by the humbled and grateful look on lead singer Dan Reynolds (whom we talked to last week) face, the band couldn’t have been happier to perform in front of what Reynolds considers his “peers.” After following up with the band, Reynolds noted the group’s sudden success is pretty surreal.
“You never write music with the expectation that it will have such broad exposure, let alone acceptance. The songs are all personal to us, and we could never have predicted they would resonate with other people like this,” Reynolds says.
Reynolds began the show with a confession, saying, “I really wanted to go to Penn State, but I didn’t get in. So consider this my retribution.” For once, pay back never looked or sounded so good!
The band played a full set including their hit tracks, “Radioactive,” “It’s Time” and “On Top of the World.” The title, “Night Visions”, reflects the inspiration behind the songs and their current tour.
“Our guitarist Wayne Sermon is a clinical insomniac and is often up all through the night, sometimes days at a time. He has written some of his greatest guitar riffs during those late hours,” Reynolds says. “Some of the lyrics and melodies come from the dreams I’ve had, as well.”
The show definitely exposed a dream-like quality comprised of a psychedelic light show with rupturing drums and futuristic, symphonic melodies.
The band, inspired by classic artists such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, created their unique sound and performance through plenty of practice.
“There is a little more perspiration than inspiration sometimes. We’ve tried to really invest in our show in terms of time, energy and thought,” he says.
Recently, the band finished rapping up their third music video. Part of it was filmed during their sold-out show back home at The Joint in Las Vegas.
“It’s a venue we’ve been to for years to see our favorite bands. Playing to our hometown crowd in that room was unbelievable,” said Reynolds.
Without a doubt, Imagine Dragons is quickly climbing their way to stardom. However, the band is still waiting for their “we made it” moment, according to Reynolds.
As they continue to grow as artists, lead singer Reynolds, guitarist Sermon, bassist Ben McKee and drummer Dan Platzman say nothing is more important than their fans.
“We have the best fans on earth; we rather call them friends. They have supported us for years and we owe everything to them,” Reynolds says.
Photos by Orhan Yilmaz