NEW ORLEANS, January 2, 2014 — The residents of the New Orleans area started 2014 off with more of a boom and bang than usual — mostly due to intense concert speakers.
A free outdoor performance by alternative rock sensation, Imagine Dragons, took place outside of the Jackson Brewery last night at 6:15 p.m. for the Allstate Fan Fest. Occurring for the eighth year, the event took place off of Decatur Street in preparation for the New Orleans Allstate Sugar Bowl, between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Oklahoma University Sooners.
A colossal mass of fans began gathering around 4:45 P.M. in the parking lot, revamped in blue for the two-day affair. A towering screen to the left of the stage broadcasted Twitter messages with the hashtag, “#AllstateFanFest,” for entertainment until 15 minutes before the concert. An Allstate regional representative then introduced to the crowd the AFCA Good Works Team — a group of 22 college athletes, honored by the insurance company for their exceptional community achievements. The young men proceeded to watch the concert from the elevated VIP section to the right of the stage.
Shivering from both anticipation and the chilly drizzle, the mob was finally rewarded when the band of five took to the spotlight. Featuring a setlist from their 2013 album, Night Visions, the group kicked off the evening with the song, “Round and Round.” For the next hour and a half, Imagine Dragons played eleven more hits:
- Hear Me
- Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
- With or Without You (Originally by U2)
- It’s Time
- On Top of the World
The lead vocalist, Dan Reynolds, light-heartedly joked with the fans throughout the performance, passing the microphone to a few and sharing personal experiences between songs. College student Emily Paxton commented on their good humor: “The fact that the band seemed so humbled by its crowd made the experience that much better.” The wide screen continued to circulate tweets while focusing on the band. The concert-goers ogled in particular over the wide variety of instruments on stage, as drum sets, a keyboard, a colossal bass drum, and several guitars were incorporated.
Around 7:45, thousands of Imagine Dragons enthusiasts poured out of the event grounds, contented and chatty. High school senior Austin Satter exclaimed, “It was an awe-inspiring concert.” Undoubtedly, the band enchanted the Big Easy last night and made the first of the year fantastic for all.