Imagine Dragons: A walk down memory lane



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Fans line up outside of the Velour on Feb. 21 in anticipation of the Imagine Dragons concert. Many fans had to win tickets through contests in order to attend. (Ari Davis)

Imagine Dragons made a grand return to its Provo birthplace Saturday, Feb. 21, as a now hugely popular band that had its humble beginning in Provo.

Band members Andrew Tolman and Dan Reynolds were both students at BYU. They met and decided to start Imagine Dragons in 2008. With Tolman as the drummer and Reynolds the lead singer, the band began to gain popularity in the Provo area.

Imagine Dragons then moved to Reynolds’ hometown, Las Vegas. From Vegas and onward, the band obtained worldwide popularity by 2012. Although Tolman did not stay with the group, the band made up the lost talent in drummer Daniel Platzman.

The band, with its LDS influence and reputation, captured the attention of countless fans inside the LDS community. Imagine Dragons’ indie-rock sound also grabbed attention outside of the LDS community and raised the band to a steady level of fame.

Imagine Dragons made an energetic return to Provo at the Velour Live Music Gallery on Feb. 21. The band’s latest album, “Smoke and Mirrors,” brought new life to the new year. The change in the members’ performance from earlier years to their present sound captures their journey to fame through unexpected albums and concerts.

Coulter Reynolds, BYU student and Dan Reynolds’ brother, said he was excited to see the band and his brother return to Velour. He also explained the concert series the band is currently putting on, Destination Dragons.

“The last time I saw him in Provo was at the Velour, so it’ll bring back a lot of memories,” Coulter Reynolds said. “The band has given tickets to certain fans, some of which Imagine Dragons will fly to several smaller venues, including the Velour.”

Coulter Reynolds said he was on the front row at the Velour concert Saturday to watch his brother sing. Although their music style has shifted over the years, Coulter Reynolds claimed that his brother has not changed. He mentioned that as “the band’s popularity has increased” he has noticed that his brother has kept to his beliefs and is still the same older brother he had before the band became famous.

Dennis Meservy, a relative of Dan Reynolds, used to watch the band perform in its starting years at Velour and mentioned that he has been a fan since day one.

“The lead singer is my cousin, and I admired the way in which he was able to go after a dream and become so successful,” Meservy said. “The Velour is the premier spot to do music in Provo. I wasn’t surprised to learn that getting into the Imagine Dragons concert on Saturday is almost impossible to do.”

Although the band puts on major concerts around the world, it wanted to come back to its birthplace and perform. The band would like to perform for every fan in the Provo area, but space is limited. This has left some fans disappointed, but the band is scheduled to return to play a larger concert at Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City this July.

Jenica Schulz, a Destination Dragons winner from Salt Lake City, could not contain her excitement when she won. According to her Twitter account, she has been to 42 Imagine Dragon performances. She is also one of the few fans who attended the band’s Velour performance.

“I first saw Imagine Dragons in 2009 at the Velour. I’ve seen them play in arenas all across the country. No one brings energy to a show like Velour does,” Schulz said. “Each time I’ve seen them play in that little venue in Provo, every person in there can feel and experience the music. You can’t get that anywhere else.”

Schulz also explained that the band members have gotten to know her and her friend as well and explained how she obtained the Destination Dragons opportunity.

“They say hi to us, give us their guitar picks and drumsticks and occasionally talk to us after every show,” Schulz said. “I sent a tweet to Southwest a few weeks ago just mentioning that I wanted to be there. I received a tweet on Wednesday saying they put my name plus a guest on a guest list.”

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