For Imagine Dragons, a ‘surreal’ string of triumphant success


When Imagine Dragons hits San Diego’s Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on Thursday, it’ll mark a special show for the superstar quartet. For one, it’ll be a sort-of homecoming gig.

“We love San Diego,” says Daniel Platzman, the band’s rollicking drummer. “We have a lot of familiarity because Ryan Walker, who we used to tour with, is from Oceanside. So we can’t wait to grab some burritos and fish tacos and head to the beach.”

Not only that, but the day of the show doubles as Platzman’s birthday.

“So it’s a big day for San Diego and a big day for me,” he jokes.

For Platzman and his Imagine Dragons cohorts - including lead singer Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon and Ben McKee on the keys - the unique rock band has had a charmed career since breaking out in 2012.

At the time, the Las Vegas residents were scrounging around playing late-night casino gigs, not exactly a glamorous life. Eventually, a British producer named Alex da Kid (the mastermind behind hits for everyone from Rihanna to X-Ambassadors) caught wind of their talent and turned them into radio darlings with a battery of triumphant hit songs including “It’s Time” and “Radioactive.”

“This is all very surreal and definitely nothing that I ever expected it to be,” Reynolds says when he looks back at the band’s meteoric rise. “To release our music and have it be such a global thing, it’s incredible. What really blows us away is when we have our amazingly talented fans tweeting us covers of our songs. I was a music nerd growing up, and I would have definitely done that if Twitter was around. It all comes full circle.”

In the past year, the band went through a rebirth of sorts. After releasing two blockbuster albums - “Night Visions” and “Smoke + Mirrors” - the members went back to the drawing board to try to replicate their former success while also growing as artists. No easy feat.

“Specifically, I think the thing that makes ‘Evolve’ special is that it marks a coming of age,” Platzman says of the band’s third album. “We’re really comfortable with ourselves, more so now than ever, and ‘Evolve’ is really a celebration of that. Fear-based decisions are never good. Everyone calls them out immediately and it doesn’t lead to authenticity, which is really what we’re going for. The whole process making it was no-stress. It was actually the most fun we’ve had since the early days.”

The debut single from “Evolve,” the energetic “Believer,” came out in late January, but it wasn’t until a plum placement during a Super Bowl commercial that the track, and subsequent album, took off. Platzman calls it all a “dream scenario” that the band was very much involved in.

“I can’t think of a more crazy turn of events than to be watching a Super Bowl that featured my hometown team (the Atlanta Falcons) and a song from my band during a commercial. It was astonishing.”

Now, Platzman and his band mates are enjoying their life on the road, including looking forward to their upcoming show in San Diego.

“The most rewarding part of the entire experience is when we get to hit the stage and get in front of the audience,” he says. “There’s no feeling in the world like it.”

Imagine Dragons: EVOLVE TOUR with Grouplove and K.Flay

When: 7:30 Thursday

Where: Mattress Firm Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista

Tickets: $28 to $235

Phone: 800.745.3000