Evolve: World Tour

Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, Florida

By Jade Pike

On the night of August 10th, Imagine Dragons brought the North American leg of the Evolve World tour, to an end. The show took place at the Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in the heart of Tampa, Florida. With a sold out venue of 20,000 people, there was a unification unlike any other. They gathered together, sharing a love for music, hoping to escape reality for just a night.

The band brought young singer-songwriter, Grace VanderWaal, along on the tour. She started off the night with a lovely setting, the stage covered in flowers and the crowd on their feet. There was such a broad range of members in the audience. There were girls on their parent’s shoulders holding up signs for Grace to see, as well as young adults dancing to the sound of the ukulele. She sang her heart out, dancing around the stage barefoot, putting everything she had into the music. Before her last song, the members of Imagine Dragons came to greet VanderWaal on stage with flower bouquets, thanking her and the team for supporting them. It was a moment of pure gratitude, and with that, she closed her set with a familiar tune, Clearly.

The sun had just disappeared behind the clouds as the lights went down. The stage was illuminated in red lights as the band rose to the platform. Anticipation grew in the room, fans were screaming all around me, awaiting the start of the show. An instrumental interlude of the radio hit, Radioactive, blared through the speakers. The sound of the heavy, beating drums surrounded the amphitheater. Tension rose all around, and I have to admit I was quite anxious to see what was to come.

The production of this show was as intricate as it has ever been. There was a heavy usage of Co2 machines, exploding in a cloud of smoke on the most intense beats of a song. Sparks rained down from the set, confetti was fired on multiple occasions, and balloons even fell from the ceiling. It is clear the band focuses on the involvement of the crowd and works to keep the audience, of such a great size, engaged. A transition to B-stage in the middle of the set only added to the excitement. Members walked through the rows of fans, greeting them along the way with a smile on their face and high fives. No matter where you were in the venue, you were sure to feel included in the show. It is the fans that the band relies on to create the atmosphere of an Imagine Dragons show. In this space, the audience was able to unite as one, regardless of their circumstances, opinions, or differences. It is a feeling unlike any other, one of acceptance and comfort, that you are unable to find elsewhere. Most of all, the show provided an escape for us all. A night to enjoy music and the beauty that it brings into this world.

“When I think of evolve, I think of color; of light, beautiful music, my friends, and happiness. This tour has been such an incredible safe space for me. I feel free- truly able to be who I am and feel most comfortable in my own skin during their shows. I can’t thank them enough for everything Evolve has done for me. I am so grateful to have been able to experience their concerts and Evolve along with them.” – Skylar Schlueter

“Evolve allowed me to step into another world long enough to forget about mine, and it was full of luminous color, beauty, and hope. It is a blanket of comfort that assures you that you don’t have to battle your demons or travel through the darkness alone, but there is a hand that will guide you to the light. The shows connect people from all different backgrounds, leaving all their baggage at the door to forget about all that separates people, and even just for a night, we were one. We were the same with no division. We were electrified, alive, heard, inspired, inseparable, and on top of the world. I will never forget Evolve and all of its goodness it brought into this universe when it seemed hopeless.” – Maddie Larson

Find Imagine Dragons:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify

Find Grace Vanderwaal:

Website | Spotify | Instagram

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