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Imagine Dragons, Atlas Genius Rock the Wiltern

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The Imagine Dragons/Atlas Genius show Wednesday night at the Wiltern Theater was sold out way in advance. With a capital “S” and “O.”

That is largely because of each band’s ubiquitous blockbuster radio hits – for Imagine Dragons, it’s impossible to go 24 hours without hearing “It’s Time,” while Atlas Genius’ “Trojans” is getting to that point, as well, thanks to stations like Los Angeles’ KCRW and KROQ.

That’s not to say each act didn’t have more than those delightful earworms to bring to the table.  Far from it, actually.

The entire show – which also featured opener Nico Vega – was a joyous party, with the capacity crowd eating up every breathless moment, of which there were several.

Let’s start with Atlas Genius. The Australian indie rock quartet were a well-oiled machine, a note that belies the fact that they only have a single EP and one full-length – 2013’s When It Was Now – under their belt.

Apparently, this tour with Imagine Dragons is helping to sharpen Atlas Genius’ live performance skills, because frontman Keith Jeffery commanded the crowd with his deft guitar chops and sneakily-powerful voice.

Credit also must be given to Jeffery’s brother Michael and Kevin McPherson on drums and bass, respectively.  It was nearly impossible to keep still over the driving grooves they laid down under hits like “If So,” Symptoms” and “Back Seat.”

Draped in blue, pink and purple lights cut with white strobes for most of their 40-minute set, Atlas Genius saved their most-known track for last, however. The audience went nuts at the opening notes of “Trojans,” and the bubbling emotion kept building throughout the song.  The band had everyone clapping through several buildups before the final payoff.

Quite a performance it was, but there was still space on the bill for Las Vegas’ Imagine Dragons.

“We’ve seen the show before and you haven’t seen the show,” Keith Jeffery said. “So we know what you’re in for and it’s amazing.”

He proved to be a soothsayer.

With several giant drums placed around the stage, one could tell that an Imagine Dragons show would have a bombastic bent, and that’s exactly what the Dan Reynolds-fronted group delivered.

Soaring pop hooks with floorboard-stomping percussion was the theme of their turn, as each song felt like a revival.

Reynolds seemed genuine in his joy to be back in Los Angeles, this time in a headlining spot, especially after he remarked that he was “used to being in the back” of concerts.  He didn’t sound like an introvert though when he passionately belted out the Night Visions single “Radioactive” to mark a mid-show crescendo.

And for “It’s Time,” which came second-to-last, all bets were off.  It’s a fair assumption that most of the people in attendance were fans of Imagine Dragons – remember how quickly it was sold out? – but hearing that catchy, chest-heaving chorus threw everybody out into the night with smiles on their faces and an undeniable fire in their hearts.

For more information, visit Imagine Dragons’ official website here and keep up with Atlas Genius here.

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