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Imagine Dragons Goes

‘Into The Night’ In PHX

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Xayalith, of The Naked and Famous. Images by Jeff Moses.
Alternative Rock Band Titillates The Crowd At U.S. Airways After Opening Act The Naked And Famous Impress With Their Boundless Potential

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 18, 2014 — Las Vegas based alternative rock five piece Imagine Dragons came through Phoenix last night on their Into The Night Tour along with opening acts Niko Vega and festival favorites The Naked and Famous. Imagine Dragons have done nothing but grow since the release of their debut album Night Visions in 2012, and their raucous concert last night at U.S. Airways arena was certainly a good measuring marker.

The only reason Niko Vega opened this show is because their lead singer Aja Volkman is married to Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds. The band sounds like a mix of 80s rock and 80s pop, and looks the part as well. A guy in front said that Volkman’s sequined outfit looked like it belonged in a “jazzercise video.”

What really sucked about Niko Vega however was their second to last song, “one of the old ones” according to Volkman. The song was just a four-minute power ballad about how great America is and loving one's neighbors.

The Naked and Famous played second, and the New Zealanders were a welcomed change of pace from Niko Vega. Their music was most certainly pop, but it attained the qualities of post-punk and new wave as well. Front woman Alisa Xayalith was spectacular, as was her co-front guitarist, Thom Powers.

The Naked and Famous may have been the most talented band that got on stage last night. Though their catalogue of hits does not go as deep as Imagine Dragons, their aesthetic and and sound are certainly equal. Look for The Naked and Famous to be headlining their own stadium tour shortly.

The Naked and Famous will actually be back in the Valley on April 16 playing Tempe’s Marquee Theater, and my advice is go see them there. Because next time they come through the venue will be bigger and the tickets will be more expensive.

Imagine Dragons took the stage next and they had quite a powerful sound, and some ridiculously bright strobe lights. The capacity crowd of 13,000 exploded when Reynolds and his compatriots took the stage. The lights were bright, the sounds were loud and the drums were abundant for the entirety of the alt rock bands set.

The group went through about 15 songs, and naturally they played all the hits such as “It’s Time,” “Demons,” and of course their mega hit from platinum selling Night Visions “Radioactive,” which garnered the group a ton of awards when it was released.
It is easy to see why Imagine Dragons was able to attract so many people and have had such a meteoric rise on the music scene. They are five decently attractive white men with a very safe and agreeable sound that mostly sing songs about happy stuff. There is really nothing to not like.

The show was a resounding success for not only the bands, but also the promoters. Stateside Presents honcho Jeremiah Gratza stated after the show via Facebook that the Feb. 17 show was the second biggest event the company had ever put on.

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at jmoses@moderntimesmagazine.com.
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