As the clock ticked closer to 9:30 pm on Saturday, the crowd at the WayHome 2017 main stage grew, and the excitement near the stage was electric and contagious. Thousands of sun soaked music lovers, who had bounced from stage to stage all day, were gathered in one place to see the headlining efforts of Imagine Dragons. And they were rewarded handsomely for their patience.
From the first notes of Imagine Dragons’ intro, the cheers from the crowd sounded like both an exclamation of excitement, and a release of energy that needed to be set free into the world. The cheers grew throughout the set, from song to song, stopping only when fans were singing along at the top of their lungs, or dancing and swaying in the crowd as the music washed over them.
The show opened with Thunder and It’s Time, setting the tone for what was to come over the next hour and a half of full energy performance from the Las Vegas rock and rollers. Beating drums, ringing guitar, and powerful vocals persisted as lead singer, Dan Reynolds held the crowd in the palm of his hand and took them where he wanted to go.
Reynolds also went where the crowd wanted him to go, climbing down from the main stage, and making his way to the railing of the first row, urging the assembled mass to sing along, and leaning in to reach for outstretched hands as he smiled from ear to ear and basked in the outpouring of love from the WayHome fans. It was a fantastic moment, with flashes of small club shows where the fans in front are sometimes nearly on the stage, and it turned the biggest crowd of WayHome (so far) into a more intimate feeling environment.
Early in the set he also stopped to talk to the crowd, offering “We live in a divided world… people try to divide us… by race, religion, sexual orientation… (but) music unites us all… Spread peace, spread love. I believe in humanity. Do you?” He asked again, and the crowd roared, sharing the sentiment that love and unity can prevail.
The music continued from the band, with a total of 17 songs in the set. And impressively, there was no dip in enthusiasm from the fans or Imagine Dragons throughout. Reynolds active effort to engage the crowd on a regular basis kept things at high levels, and the sing along opportunities resulted in the loudest efforts from the WayHome fans of the weekend to that point.
Watching the band perform, and engage, and share themselves, made it easy to see why they have enjoyed the success that they’ve found over the last five years. It truly seems that they’re still working for it, like they would have been before finding the headlining spotlight.
When it came time for the encore, Imagine Dragons pulled out their biggest hit, Radioactive, and added extended full band drum segments, extended choruses with crowd singing, and enough emotional energy to wrap up the show. And as it all happened, the crowd popped one more time, showing their appreciation for the music, the show, and the chance to unite for 90 minutes in a world that too often divides us.
Imagine Dragons WayHome 2017 Setlist
★ It’s Time
★ Whatever It Takes
★ Forever Young (cover)
★ Walking The Wire
★ Rise Up
★ I’m So Sorry
★ I Don’t Know Why
★ Song 2 (cover)
★ I Bet My Life
★ On Top Of The World