Let’s talk about Atlas Genius for a second. Their bassist looks like a Kennedy, their keyboardist looks like Andrew Bird, their drummer looks like Finn Hudson (don’t even pretend you’ve never seen Glee) and their front man looks like a baby faced Johnny Depp in his better years.
In other words, I’ve seen worse looking bands.
And the crowd at House of Blues on Monday evening obviously agreed – there was quite a bit of shrieking going on in the front of the venue. But it wasn’t only the ladies who were excited. The gentleman behind me tapped me on the shoulder as the band was setting up and asked “I’m sorry, do you know who this opener is?” When I told him it was Atlas Genius his response was, “WHAT?! ATLAS GENIUS is playing tonight? I knew Imagine Dragons was playing but I didn’t know ATLAS GENIUS was playing with them! THIS IS [bleepin’] AWESOME!”
It doesn’t hurt that lead singer Keith Jeffery has charisma oozing out of his ears. At one point he hopped off the stage, made a tour of the venue, jumped back onstage, gave a grin and proclaimed, “You all are even better looking up close.” So, you know, if you’re into smooth talking, good looking guys then he’s probably your cup of tea.
The Australian foursome played from their 2012 EP “Through the Glass” as well as from their brand new album, which they dropped last month, “When It Was Now.” They of course saved their big hitter “Trojans” for last, making it into a sing along with the swooning crowd.
Imagine Dragons took the stage next. I have to give major props to the band for their stage setup. Before the band came on the entire place went black, forest sounds resonated throughout the venue, and hundreds of illuminated eyes were suddenly projected onto the trees that were setup on the stage, giving off the illusion of owls blinking at you from the darkness. It was pretty awesome.
The last time I had the pleasure of seeing Imagine Dragons’ frontman Dan Reynolds was this past fall at the Rock the Green festival in Milwaukee. There was already a chill in the air and the lead singer was fighting off a head cold. He spent the entire set jumping up and down, grinning, blowing his nose on his shirt and wiping it on his sleeve. He was having a great time. So were we.
Just as I expected, Dan Reynolds was even more enthusiastic, and way less snotty, without the head cold. The man jumped, danced, banged on his ginormous drum, and amped up the crowd, pointing the mic at them almost as often as he used it himself. The band is touring in support of their first studio album, “Night Visions”, released this past September and obviously their fans know it well because they had every word down.
Honestly, I enjoy Imagine Dragons’ work recorded more than live because the crispness is lost in translation, but it’s worth it to see them live just for the pure show of it all. Lights flash, the bass booms, and Reynolds is an ever-moving, smiling, good-natured spectacle.