United Center // Chicago, IL // October 18, 2017
Imagine Dragons bring along some of the best opening acts to create a powerhouse night in Chicago.
It’s not often that the opening acts are as good as the headliner, but Imagine Dragons threw that idea away and snagged some of the most exciting artists for their North American tour. Of course, Imagine Dragons were an opening act themselves just a few years ago. The band got their big break in 2009 when they filled in for Train at a show with 26,000 people in attendance. In 2012, they released their first studio album, Night Visions, and reached #40 on the Billboard charts. Since then, the band has only gotten bigger, but only in the last year or so have they really skyrocketed to superstar status.
For this tour, K. Flay and Grouplove opened every show and put on performances that rivaled the main act’s. K. Flay, a Chicago native and an incredible indie hip-hop artist, has really made a name for herself in recent years. She recently signed with Interscope Records and was the first artist to be signed under Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds Night Street Records imprint. K. Flay has been performing in Chicago for years, so it’s incredibly exciting to see her playing the United Center to thousands of fans. She closed her set with her newest single “Blood in the Cut“, and I heard an audience member say “Oh, this is her?! I love this song!” Even if she’s still not a household name like Imagine Dragons, she will be soon enough.
K. Flay at United Center, 10.18.17. Photo by Kate Scott
Grouplove are maybe one of the most exciting and adorable groups out there. They’re exciting because they create fun and contagious music, and they’re adorable because lead singers Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi are married, have a baby daughter, and match their hair color while on tour. Although the band haven’t released an album in 2017, their 2016 release Big Mess is still a delight to hear and had Chicagoans dancing and singing along. Having Grouplove open for Imagine Dragons was a perfect way to segue into the main act; Grouplove’s bright and bouncy vibe brought up the energy at the United Center and made everyone that much more excited for what was to come.
Grouplove at United Center, 10.18.17. Photo by Kate Scott
When Imagine Dragons’ silhouettes appeared in the rainbow lights, the entire United Center screamed. Their show was not only fun and exciting but also poignant and heartfelt. Dan Reynolds, the band’s singer, is from Las Vegas and had a lot to say about the recent terrorist attack. “We will always play for you,” he assured his fans, letting them know that a concert should always feel like a place of love and safety. Imagine Dragons’ songs are often inspirational, and as Reynolds and the rest of the band played “It’s Time”, their love for their fans radiated throughout the United Center. They ended their show with “Believer“, their biggest single to date, with mountains of confetti and a genuine appreciation for those who came out to see them headline their Chicago show.
Imagine Dragons at United Center, 10.18.17. Photo by Kate Scott