"This is the fourth time weâ€™ve played here this summer. The first time was in front of 200 people. â€¦ To see this many people here today, itâ€™s overwhelming. We canâ€™t tell you what it means to us."
This introduction to "Cha-Ching (Til We Grow Older)" by Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds to a capacity crowd of nearly 20,000 â€“ if not more â€“ around the Miller Lite Oasis on Saturday night at Summerfest was an acknowledgement of not only the burgeoning popularity of the band, but a nod to Milwaukee as the city has consistently given its Las Vegas-based members its biggest crowds.
When the band last visited the city in March they sold out The Rave, which was â€“ at the time â€“ their biggest audience. It was such a show of support Reynoldsâ€™ emotion was palpable.
This crowd at Henry Maier Festival Park â€“ again one of the largest the group has ever played before â€“ moved the band equally.
After touring Europe and Asia, Imagine Dragons returned to the states and played in Missouri last night, but the size of the crowd energized the band so much so that after an enthusiastic opening of "Round and Round" Reynolds told the crowd, "This is the first time Iâ€™ve ever broken the head of my drum on the first song."
Reynolds addressed the fans and the city on several occasions leading into songs, and it took him a few beats to finally be able to begin the encore of "Nothing Left to Say."
Touring off their first studio release "Night Visions," jammed more than in their spring show, taking time for drum combinations between songs.
They played 13 songs, all off "Night Visions" or an earlier extended play release.
On tour they have performed several covers and other EP songs, but those were left on the road in favor of additional musicianship. If Reynolds didnâ€™t acknowledge the crowd, the band teased it with instrumentals before grooving into the familiar intro to a song.
The baiting worked, revving the crowd up often, especially into a frenzied final three songs.
Following the somber dedication of "Thirty Lives" to their friend Tyler Robinson â€“ a song which Reynolds carried with just the accompaniment of a solo guitar â€“ the band transitioned into the hit "Demons."
The band picked the crowd up with "Underdog" afterward, which ended with another percussion-led instrumental. That built into "On Top of The World," which seemingly took the crowdâ€™s energy level it couldnâ€™t surpass.
That is until another slow percussion built into "Radioactive," at which point the crowd exploded. After Reynoldsâ€™ final vocals every member of the band got onto a drum, eventually slowing it down to a haunting rhythm, then building again to an additional chorus that led into a triumphant walk-off.
If the band was tired from the recent travel, they didnâ€™t let on. Reynolds hopped around in jeans and black boots. His vocals were strong, and he went all-out on his drum parts.
He also couldnâ€™t keep himself out of the pit in front of the stage, hopping onto the guard rail and leaning into the crowd on several occasions. He also worked the long arms of the Oasis stage, as did Wayne Sermon (guitar) and Ben McKee (bass). Reynolds also leaned on the crowd to sing the chorus to "Itâ€™s Time."
Round and Round
Cha-Ching (Til We Grow Older)
On Top of The World
Nothing Left to Say
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jim Owczarski
Published June 12, 2017
A golf course is a living thing, with insects, grasses and trees all affecting how it plays on a given day. All of those things, and a host of others, must be managed daily by that course's superintendent to make it playable for the golfer. It's a long day, with a lot of duties and I gave it a try.
Published April 27, 2015
Tyler Thornburg has been pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers since 2012, but last year was to be his first as a full-time reliever. He started well, but was then lost for the year with an elbow injury. He is back and healthy at the start of 2015 and hopes to prove, again, that he belongs in the majors.
Published April 23, 2015
Some many call him a question mark in the Milwaukee Brewers lineup, but Khris Davis was feeling confident about himself and the team as the 2015 campaign got underway.
Published April 21, 2015
As the Milwaukee Bucks attempt to lock up a playoff berth in the final few games of the year, second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is proving to many that he can be a force to be reckoned with. You see the action on the court, now, but it was the lonely hours in the gym before his family arrived from Greece last year that laid the foundation.
Published April 17, 2015
It was one year ago today that former Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl introduced Wes Edens and Marc Lasry to the city of Milwaukee as the new owners of the Bucks franchise. The pair would not, formally, be considered the owners by the league for a few weeks yet - but the press conference on April 16, 2014 signaled the start of a new era. A lot has happened in 365 days. Read on for some of the big moments.
Published April 15, 2015
Jabari Parker hasn't played a game for the Milwaukee Bucks since Dec. 15, 2014, and he may not play another one until that date later this year. Or maybe slightly before. Or after. It's the great on-court unknown for the franchise. But what if he didn't get hurt? It's possible that his injury affected more than just the team - it could've swayed public sentiment regarding the arena.
Published April 13, 2015
As the spotlight widens on the ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks and politicians around the state regarding the construction of a new Downtown arena, the Milwaukee Admirals have been left in the shadows. As of now, there are no plans to have the Admirals as a part of the new multi-purpose arena.
Published April 10, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com Sports Editor Jim Owczarski is taking off on a new adventure, leaving the Cream City after over three years. It's been fun, very memorable, and full of fun people, places, drinks and food. On his way out, he shares with you some of his favorites in all of those categories.
Published April 9, 2015
Believe it or not, we are now closer to a decade removed from Tiger Woods' last major championship than we are to his last run of sustained dominance in the game. The greats, always, lose their edge and become shadows of what they were. But Woods' decline was so sudden, the game hasn't quite yet recovered.
Published April 8, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks aim to create a true urban plan around its new Downtown arena, and the billion dollar concept could have far reaching effects. Read on to see how some in the community feel about the project.