Imagine Dragons are rock's 2013 live breakout
Imagine Dragons sold out their May amphitheater play in the Denver market before their March theater play ever came off. This is what a rock band blowing up looks like.
The Las Vegas-based band, booked by Corrie Christopher and Adam Brill at the Agency for the Performing Arts (APA), is exploding on a global level after "grinding it out in clubs" for the past three years. Driven by dazzling live performances and radio heat, the new headliners are quickly climbing the venue cap ladder.
Imagine Dragons-Dan Reynolds (whose brother Mac is the band's manager), Wayne Sermon, Ben McKee and Daniel Platzman--are touring in support of Night Visions (KidinaKorner/Interscope Records), which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has sold 714,000 copies in the United States, according to SoundScan. First single "It's Time" is a multiformat smash that's still rolling at more than 2 million downloads; second single "Radioactive" has been No. 1 on the Alternative chart for seven weeks, and cracks the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 this week (15-7).
But well before that big noise, Brill says APA discovered the group at the club level playing for 100 people. The early focus was building a West Coast following, booking the act on shows with such bands as Weezer, the Temper Trap and Interpol to build believers. The band ventured east of Colorado after the deal with Interscope. "About a year-and-a-half ago they jumped on the road with the Jezabels...and did a full U.S. tour, [and] that's when the buzz started to happen at radio, and the build started to come," Brill says.
Soon it became evident "they were well on their way to becoming headliners themselves," Christopher says. "When we put the spring tour up on sale in December, it was the moment of realization--they were blowing up."
Still fulfilling their club/theater bookings stateside and in the United Kingdom and Europe, Imagine Dragons had already sold out the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, two nights at the Palladium in Los Angeles and shows in San Diego, Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho. Given the global interest, the band has more demand than it can fulfill. Imagine Dragons will follow up a spring run overseas to play U.S. sheds and festivals beginning in May, then head back across the Atlantic for U.K. and European festivals. Details are being finalized for returns to both territories in the fall.
Things grew so quickly that the band was booked into certain venues at price points it had clearly outgrown before the shows were ever played (90% of the spring dates sold out within 48 hours).
"We knew we could put tickets on sale at higher prices and bigger venues, but we didn't want to miss that opportunity to play more intimate shows and really create that demand," Christopher says. "A lot of bands would take the cash and bite at the apple, but we anticipate at least four solid singles on this record."
APA books all territories for the band except Europe and the United Kingdom, which the London-based Coda Agency handles. "Everybody wants a pull, and we're so busy we have to figure out how to slot everything in," Brill says. "We're not just talking about North America/Canada, we're talking about a show in just about every territory. There are a lot of things on the table right now."