Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons is a believer.
“It’s the best thing, ever,” Reynolds said of the Golden Knights’ success, prior to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final between Vegas and the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. “I have not been happier in my life than I have been this week.”
Reynolds and bandmates Daniel Platzman, Wayne Sermon and Ben McKee rocked the arena with a pregame performance of “Whatever It Takes.” The song is a highlight from the band’s most recent album, “Evolve.” The title speaks to the Golden Knights’ will to win as they continue their stunning run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
— NHL (@NHL) May 31, 2018
As the city’s entertainment community is well aware, Imagine Dragons is a bona fide Las Vegas band that rose from such music haunts as the lounge at O’Shea’s, Beauty Bar, Hennessey’s Tavern, South Point Showroom, Ovation at Green Valley Ranch and The Pub at Monte Carlo (now Park MGM).
The T-Mobile crowd erupted when the spotlight hit the band. Reynolds, who appears fit enough to wear the pads himself, was already pretty emotional just minutes before performing.
“To see Las Vegas coming together has been incredible. There’s no other way to say it,” he said. “Feeling our culture, feeling our energy, feeling the emotions — the city has needed this since Oct. 1, but it’s also needed it for at least the 30 years I’ve been alive.
“We are a family; we are united in a city that is more than tourism.”
His face animated, Reynolds grinned as he headed toward the ice.
“I am ready,” he said. “I’m going to keep talking about, and singing about, the city I love.”
Imagine Dragons’ charitable organization, the Tyler Robinson Foundation, is honoring the Golden Knights with the first TRF Community Impact Award it the next Rise Up Gala on Sept. 14 at Caesars Palace. “No organization has had more of a profound influence on the Las Vegas community this year than the Golden Knights,” the foundation said in a release announcing the award.
The band is recognizing the Golden Knights for their visits to families and those who were injured in the Oct. 1 shootings and for the galvanizing in-arena tributes to the 58 people who lost their lives.
Calling it out
One of the earliest Golden Knights traditions is fans at T-Mobile shouting “Knights!” when the national anthem singer, typically Carnell “Golden Pipes” Johnson, sings the line, “Gave proof through the night …”
The trend has taken off at Las Vegas 51s games, too. Fans at Cashman Field are shouting “Knights!” in support of the hockey team, even as visiting teams and their fans have no clue why.
The freshly assembled Vegas Golden Strings backed Imagine Dragons’ pregame performance. It’s a one-off string ensemble organized by violin virtuoso De Ann Letourneau, concertmaster of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. The lineup of players, all in VGK jerseys, included Melanie Schiemer, Liz Bedrosian, Krista Solars, Rachael Brown, Mert Sermet, Tianna Harjo and Dalton Davis.
Letourneau is also a member of Celine Dion’s orchestra at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. She missed Celine’s sound check to play at T-Mobile, but I understand it was an excused absence.
UFC legend Randy Couture and NASCAR champ (and Vegas native) Kurt Busch cranked the siren during Game 2. They join a list of siren-cranking luminaries that includes Backstreet Boys, Penn Jillette, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Lil Jon, Criss Angel, Tommy Shaw of Styx, ex–Eagles member Don Felder, Linq Hotel headliner Mat Franco and Wayne Newton.
Oh, that Lambo
Jonathan Marchessault again drove the “Lucky Lambo” to T-Mobile, the Lamborghini loaned to the team by Lamborghini Las Vegas for promotional appearances. The car’s four-game winning streak was snapped, and the Golden Knights are now 4-1 when Marchessault drives the Lambo.
Holy gila monster, Batman!
On the topic of exotic cars, Chance the gila monster mascot showed up to the game driving a Batmobile decorated with VGK logos. The team’s PR reps are still looking into how, exactly, he procured the car. But Chance did post a video on social media of his arrival in that classic machine.
Na na na na na na na na na
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) May 30, 2018
So this happened …
Broadcasters Barry Melrose and Steve Levy were walking on the third-level “party deck” at T-Mobile, trying to find the set of elevators leading to their broadcast perch. I explained, “OK, to find the elevators, walk past the Castle, and they’re behind the doors on the left.” There was a pause and Melrose said, “You don’t hear that too often.”