The view from the sidewalk outside the Roseland Ballroom last Saturday set the scene for a memorable night. As audience members forced their way into the sold-out venue, the energy in the room was already mounting. Fans were excited and restless for Nico Vega, Atlas Genius and Las Vegas indie-rockers Imagine Dragons to take the stage.
Nico Vega were incredibly energetic. Lead singer Aja Volkman climbed all over the stage, a vibrancy highlighted when she jumped off an empty oil drum with the band’s name on it. Their short set was the perfect way to start off the night and keep anticipation high.
Following Nico Vega’s performance, men in white jumpsuits and masks, presumably the members of Atlas Genius, took the stage and began to tune their instruments. After tuning, the Australian Jeffery brothers and English keyboardist Darren Sell re-emerged, now smar-tly dressed in button-down shirts with elegant ties. Frontman Keith Jeffery wore a fedora.
Unlike other venues in New York City, the Roseland Ballroom did not hesitate to turn the volume up, and neither did the audience. The screams of approval were deafening as Atlas Genius opened with “Symptoms” from their recent debut album, “When It Was Now.” Keith Jeffrey’s voice flowed smoothly as he sang “On A Day,” captivating the audience like a seasoned performer.
About halfway through the show, the band got the crowd moving with “Electric,” thanks to Sell’s enthusiastic keyboard. After the song, Keith Jeffrey jumped off the stage in the middle of “Don’t Make A Scene.” He performed a guitar solo in front of the barricade, which elicited screams from the fans in the front row.
The band closed with their hit single “Trojans,” and Michael Jeffery’s impressive work on the drums turned the popular track into an epic finale. By this point, it was impossible to think Atlas Genius were only billed as an opening band.
But Imagine Dragons were nothing short of epic. Lead singer Dan Reynolds made sure he had the already ecstatic crowd’s attention by opening with “Round and Round” from Imagine Dragons’ freshman album, “Night Visions.” Reynolds punctuated his performance by pounding on a giant, upright Taiko drum.
The stage was set with large cutouts of trees with leaves dangling in front of a giant screen which intermittently projected images of clouds and desert landscapes. The show reached its peak about halfway through the set during the recently popular “Radioactive.” The audience screamed the lyrics back at Reynolds with so much vigor, it was a wonder the band could be heard at all.
Even after an incredible and memorable performance by Imagine Dragons, there was no question that the headliners were not the only band fans were talking about all the way home. Atlas Genuis have already shown they can produce a quality album, and now they have proven they can also rock the stage. It is only a matter of time before they start their own headlining tour.
Alex Pastron is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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