Lasers are to Imagine Dragons what confetti is to OK Go in concert, everywhere and all the time.
That’s how much of it played out during Imagine Dragons’ pulsating concert Friday night at Scottrade Center.
Sure, the music was there, as much as the music would be there at an Imagine Dragons concert. But the laser display was killer, whether they were surrounding lead singer Dan Reynolds in a cagelike fashion, shooting off wildly in different directions or explosively mixed with strobe lights and drums.
There’s something to say for spectacle done well, and Imagine Dragons had that down pat with a near two-hour concert that drew from the band’s two albums, the new “Smoke + Mirrors” and the older “Night Visions.”
The Las Vegas band, who headlined at both the Pageant and the former Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in 2013, may have cooled a bit since its last time in St. Louis. Just under 10,000 fans came out to Friday’s concert, a respectable number for sure. But whole sections in the upper bowl of the arena were noticeably empty and/or blackened out.
Still, Reynolds exclaimed, “I can’t get over the view,” looking out over the fans. “This is not how it has always been for us.”
Occasionally playing up the “Smoke + Mirrors” title of the tour in its presentation, the band opened the show behind a curtain with the band members seen in silhouette assembling themselves on stage as smoke swirled.
“Shots” from “Smoke + Mirrors” kicked off the show with Reynolds positioned where he seemed to enjoy it most, out in the crowd on a small solo stage away from the band.
Boasting what came off as a Coldplay-lite aesthetic at times, the band in cool fashion wove its way through pleasing songs such as “Trouble,” “Gold, “I’m So Sorry,” “Polaroid,” “Demons,” “Hopeless Opus” and “The Fall.”
Heavy on drums, rhythm and groove, the band sailed through the show anchored by Reynolds, who often pounded away on a standalone drum there for his enjoyment.
He was an affable lead player, coming off earnest and accessible even if his sharing that he was absolutely the “most uncool kid in middle school” didn’t sound believable.
At one point in the concert, Reynolds recognized a fan from Twitter named Faith and called her up on stage. He gave her several long hugs before telling the rest of his fans to hug her if they came across her in the arena. He also took a selfie with her and said she was one of the strongest people you’ll ever meet (she apparently emailed him often with her story).
The band offered what he described as a special version of “Amsterdam,” one that was more mellow. “Sometimes you have to do this on the spot after feeling out the crowd,” Reynolds said. He likened album bonus track “Release” from “Smoke + Mirrors” to being “a favorite brother who never gets acknowledged.”
During “On Top of the World,” Reynolds walked through the crowd and performed in an aisle in seating high up in the arena. He joked that fans sitting there had a terrible view.
Reynolds professed the St. Louis Cardinals has been his team since he was 6 years old and shouted out to his two opening acts, Metric and Halsey, which he described as “two powerful women on their way to conquering the world.”
The band Metric, featuring lead singer Emily Haines, offered a set of synth-pop songs from upcoming album “Pagans in Vegas” and more, including “Gold Gun Girls” and “Breathing Underwater” from the 2009 album “Fantasies.” Though it took a few songs to really click, Metric rose to the arena occasion nicely, which isn’t easy to do when one is in the support slot.