Imagine Dragons at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 9/28/2013

Categories: Live Shots

Photos by Violeta Alvarez
Imagine Dragons
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
September 26, 2013

It wasn't that long ago that I was typing that same band name into a headline, only it was followed by the words "House of Blues." It's a strange feeling to do so again so quickly.

The idea of Imagine Dragons graduating from shows in smaller venues to the massive Woodlands venue in just a few short months was both exciting and bittersweet to watch. When they announced their second tour this year, I felt a little like a protective mama hen; the boys who absolutely killed it at HOB would now be out in the big, bad world of amphitheaters.

I questioned the wisdom of a second tour just months after the first, especially with such a drastic venue change. Would their spark be lost in the sheer enormity of the venue? Would they start to get the dreaded ego issue of a band with overnight success?

I really shouldn't have worried. They killed the Thursday night's Cynthia Woods show, because of course they did. It's Imagine Dragons. Everything they've touched over the past year has turned to gold, including last night. It's just how they do.

As the band took the stage amid that massive setup of drums, drums, and more drums, it was immediately apparent that the leap from smaller digs had Dragons front man Dan Reynolds and company overwhelmed, and in a good way.

It's not every day that you see an artist's evolution from smaller indie band to massive mainstream attraction, and to watch them take it in from the front of that stage was utterly endearing. If you were there, you know what I mean. It was so refreshing.

I lost count of the number of times Reynolds stood there, staring out at the crowd while burying his face in his hands to get himself together and grinning all the while. Before the group ever hit the first note, he was visibly shaken by the sight of the thousands of fans staring back at him from across the lawn to the front of the seats to the pit. It was almost as good as the music. Almost.

Luckily, as endearing as Reynolds is, the band is even better musicians, so when they did finally hit that first note of "Round and Round," it was completely and totally on. Imagine Dragons' album, Night Visions, really doesn't do their live show justice; it's almost impossible to express just how incredibly percussion-heavy they are, but you'd never know how energetic and charismatic Reynolds and his cohorts are until you've seen them jump, drum, and strum out the tracks live.

As a front man, Reynolds is insane. I've never seen someone with so much energy. It's not that manic, overwhelming energy that comes from an energetic young pup, though. Instead he's managed to lasso that mania into a very controlled, poised aura, and it's pretty impressive considering how the short time they've really been on the scene.

With Reynolds, his duties at the front of Imagine Dragons don't stop with just the vocals. If he's not jumping on top of something, he's drumming with his entire body. It's almost a primal force, and an inspirational sight to see a front man get so into the drums.

Review continues on the next page.

Location Info


Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX

Category: Music

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My 11 year-old daughter and I attended last night's show. She sang her heart out on all the songs, I was the grizzled concert veteran in the Rush concert shirt...and I'll be damned if Imagine Dragons didn't have me grinning from ear to ear. Great show...even better musicians. I'm a fan...


Great review.  You hit them spot on and I feel exactly the same way about Imagine Dragons.  Saw the at HOB Anaheim in March and they killed it.  Saw them again two nights in a row at the Hollywood Palladium in May.  And next up, is the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas.  They've been on an insane international tour schedule and still seem to bring it every-single-night.  Radioactive live is insane - there are some great videos on youtube.  

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