Tag Archives: The Neighborhood

Imagine Dragons Entertain Orlando

Imagine Dragons Orlando Show Review

I remember the first time that I heard the contagious and addictive mastery of “It’s Time” thinking that this Las Vegas based quartet was a one hit wonder likely destined for a short stint on the pop charts.  It didn’t take long to prove my first suspicions to be firmly off-base.  The debut album, Night Visions was released in the Summer of 2012, and upon first listen made it quite clear that this was an excellent rock band with abundant staying power.

On Monday night, they traveled to the campus of UCF to make their first large venue appearance in the area.  Their rise to the top seems quicker than it really was, and it is well-deserved.  The band’s passionate fans witnessed an entertaining set that left everyone in the CFE Arena exhausted and energized; fans and band members, alike.

After entertaining sets from Paper Route and The Neigborhood, the crowd was amped up for the main attraction.  Subdued music cranked through the PA, belying the fervor to follow, as the crew set-up a unique stage arrangement.  One word: Drums!  There were four smaller kits strategically placed across the stage, as well as Dan Platzman’s more standard kit. It was a unique set-up, but one that added a very creative element to the show.

The band came out to an extended drum intro to one of their minor hits “Round and Round,” and it was quickly apparent this crowd was ready to party.  The majority of the attendees were likely high school age, but the crowd was quite diverse with plenty of UCF students, thirty-somethings, and older rockers (like myself) packing the house.

Dynamic front man, Dan Reynolds, was an energetic focal point throughout the show.  During Amsterdam, he paused, surveyed the crowd and offered “We are so thankful… four years of playing in small clubs and sleeping on your couches, and now playing in venues like this with crowds like this…”  Based on the show we witnessed, they are well-suited for these big stages. He had the crowd singing, waving, cheering and bouncing at will throughout the 80 minute set.

During “Hear Me,” I couldn’t help thinking back to the fantastic rock chemistry of Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen.  It’s a dark song that offered a deeper glimpse into Reynolds’ style and a great spotlight on Wayne Sermon’s under-rated guitar playing.  Sermon also tour it up with a great solo during “Cha Ching (Til We Grow Older).” Bassist Ben McKee had his turn in the spotlight when he ripped into a killer bass solo, that evolved into “Demons” later in the set. But, the music was really focused on the impressive percussion display.

Reynolds and Platzman wailed away on half a dozen of the tracks and the drum sound in the arena was damn near the best I’ve ever heard.   The highlight of their playing was a phenomenal version of “Radioactive” – at one point, we had all four core band members standing at a different drum pounding away, and the effect was stunning.

Other highlights included a nice cover medley of Cold War Kids’ Hang Me Up To Dry” and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” a pairing that seemed odd at first blush but one that worked well.  During “Underdog” the stage and crowd were covered with huge confetti filled beach balls, and we heard the crowd in great voice numerous times throughout the night, including a great version of “On Top of The World.”

The highlight for me? That same first song I had experienced from the band last summer. “It’s Time” started with a newly arranged guitar opening and a stark vocal from Reynolds. Six words in, and the crowd was loudly singing along – he gave them the second verse, and they nailed it in perfect unison – it was just beautiful.  From there, the band kicked into the traditional version and the crowd exploded, ratcheting up the electricity a notch, and their voices actually became more impressive: a goose-bump moment for sure as the crowd was bathed in spotlights and lasers.

After the aforementioned version of “Radioactive,” the band exited the stage, and oddly, were followed by about 1/4 of the crowd, before they returned for one last sing-along with their encore closer “Nothing Left To Say,” an appropriate way to end a powerful rock experience.

(You can check out the full setlist below this review.)

We were not able to get a photographer to the show, so share any of your photos with us on Twitter, and if we get a good shot, we’ll add it to the review.

The opening acts on this billing were also well-worth seeing.  Paper Route, were a four piece that reminded me of a cross between Against Me! and Wolfgang. Yeah, an odd pairing, but they sounded very good.  The middle act was The Neighborhood, a quintet that just oozes cool California swagger.  They’ve got a few killer songs, and a front man who drips with charisma in Jesse Rutherford.

This was also my first trip to UCF’s CFE Arena. It’s a great, modern venue  to catch a rock show, and the sound and lighting was superb. When you add in the ease of parking and commuting to the venue, it’s even more appealing. I’ll definitely be back, and there’s a slew of good shows headed their way.  Keep an eye on this website or Follow Us on Twitter for info on the upcoming shows.

Rock On!


Round and Round
Hear Me
Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
It’s Time
30 Lives
(bass solo intro)
Hang Me Up To Dry / Stand By Me
On Top of the World
(drum solo intro)

Nothing Left to Say

Central Florida June Concert Calendar

June Rock Music Calendar

Not quite the incredible month we saw in this area in May, which was highlighted by two amazing Paul McCartney shows, but still a bunch of stuff to choose from.


06/01 – The Supervillains, West End Trading (Sanford). RARA’s Farm has not caught this band yet, but everyone raves about their fun live shows. Catch them in one of our favorite local venues.

06/03 – Killswitch Engage with Darkest Hour, House of Blues

06/04 – Fall Out Boy with New Politics, House of Blues. These guys from Illinois have amazingly already been around for a dozen years and keep getting better.  The opener is a cool band from Denmark.

06/05 – The Postal Service, Hard Rock Live – It’s Ben Gibbard’s (Death Cab For Cutie) new electro-synth project, and it’s good stuff. Sold Out

06/07 – The Front Bottoms, Will’s Pub
06/07 – The Menzingers and Fake Problems, The Social – Punk rock

06/08 – The Airborne Toxic Event, The Beacham.  Mikel Jollett’s vocals might be the best in today’s Alt-Rock landscape, and the band is fantastic.

Click the icon on the right menu to Like Us on Facebook for all of the latest local rock music news.

06/11 – The Neighborhood with The 1975, The Social. Two up and coming Alt-Rock artists worth seeing.
06/11 – The Tallest Man on Earth, The Beacham. Creative rock from Sweden renowned for their entertaining live shows.

06/12 – Say Anything, House of Blues

06/14 – Night Beds, Will’s Pub. Winston Yellen is Night Beds; catch this talented young artist from Nashville at a cozy local joint.
06/14 – Whole Wheat Bread, West End Trading (Sanford). Punk, funk, reggae, rock… See our recent review

06/20 – Inner Circle, The Social. Girl I’m gonna make you sweat…”

06/25 – Daniel Tosh, Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Yeah, it’s not rock, not even music, but Daniel is hilarious.

06/27 – Shinedown. WJRR Presents An Evening with Shinedown Acoustic with Brent Smith and Zach Myers. These guys are the heart and soul of the band and magical on stage together (check out our recent review)

Cheap concert tickets


06/01 – Peter Frampton, St. Augustine Amphitheatre

06/03 – Ours, Jack Rabbits

06/05 – Goo Goo Dolls, Florida Theatre. Always put on a good show.

06/06 – The Front Bottoms, The Roc

06/08 – The Menzingers and Fake Problems, The Phoenix Taproom

6/10/13 – The Airborne Toxic Event, Freebird Live

6/12/13 – Billy Idol, St. Augustine Amphitheatre. One of the biggest modern rock acts of the eighties makes a trip to Florida’s oldest city.

6/15/13 – The Neighborhood and The 1975, Jack Rabbits

6/19/13 – Capitol Cities, Jack Rabbits

6/21/13 – Anberlin, Freebird Live – Back in their old stomping grounds. See our recent review.

Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area

06/02 – Peter Frampton, Ruth Eckerd Music Hall (Clearwater)

06/07 – Fleetwood Mac, Tampa Bay Times Forum
06/07 – The Supervillains, 1509

06/09 – The Airborne Toxic Event, State Theatre (Saint Petersburg)

06/10 – Say Anything, State Theatre (Saint Petersburg)

06/12 – The Neighborhood and The 1975, Local 662 (Saint Petersburg)

06/18 – Billy Idol, Ruth Eckerd Music Hall (Clearwater)
06/18 – Heart and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. The “Heartbreaker” Tour – very intriguing…

06/19 – Thousand Foot Krutch, Southeastern College (Lakeland). These guys put on a great and powerful live show.  See our recent album review.

06/21 – Robert DeLong, Push Ultra Lounge. Hot new talent, worth checking out.

06/22 – Pat Travers, Music Ranch (Lakeland). Never been to this family owned venue, but this might be the show that gets me out there.

06/27 – Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. It’s one of rocks biggest legend headlining The “Americanarama Festival Of Music.”