Imagine Dragons offer energetic set with a social message in Dallas

Imagine Dragons stuffed a nearly two-hour set with as many anthemic songs as possible at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, making it a late-night sing-along for a family-friendly crowd.

Known for their cheerful, rose-colored songs and heavy-handed percussion, the Las Vegas natives have perfected the arena-sized concert by adding even more kick drums and sharing inspirational stories in between songs. They even played a few acoustic numbers for good measure.

Three albums and five years under their belts, Imagine Dragons hasn't ventured far from their initial electrifying style: soaring choruses and emphatic vocals. Dramatic, musical ups and downs came to life onstage, giving front man Dan Reynolds plenty of opportunities to stretch his booming vocals.

He shared words of encouragement and empowering battle cries, saying they won't cower in fear after the shooting in Las Vegas, before singing aptly-titled track, "It's Time." It's clear Reynolds was made for the stage.

Despite the band's generally sunny disposition, Reynolds revealed he has struggled with depression for years. He reinforced the power of therapy and admitting for help, saying both are looked down upon in today's society. In his emotional "Demons," he sings, "Don't get too close, it's dark inside. It's where my demons hide."

Whether you're a fan of their relentlessly energetic songs, they're using the spotlight to encourage fans to celebrate their differences in a time of international violence and cyberbullying. Most of the night's banter was directed toward a message, which added depth to the large-scale show.

The band showed their versatility in a stripped-down version of "I Won't Back Down" in honor of the legendary rock n' roll Hall of Fame artist Tom Petty. Thankfully, they stayed true to the classic hit with a wavy guitar solo and soft, friendly harmonies.

This was the second cover of the evening; opening act Grouplove showed appreciation for another legend, David Bowie, with a short-lived cover of "Space Oddity." The sprightly indie rockers ignited the arena with a fun-loving and cheerful style, bouncing and diving all over the stage during the fast-paced set. Songs like "Remember That Night" and "Ways To Go" were a colorful catalyst for Imagine Dragons to continue that sugar high.

The headliners didn't go quietly; one of their last songs was current single "Thunder." And the whisper-to-a-scream track is their best material yet. Curtained with a powerful harmony and a fun sensibility, the bold song personifies the brand Imagine Dragons is selling: booming beats designed for a confetti-riddled arena.

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