Train derailment put Imagine Dragons on track

In the same week Imagine Dragons announces its new album, Evolve, and a Sept. 29 date at T-Mobile Arena, Train plays MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Like a pair of Union Pacific boxcars, these bands linked up long ago.

In October 2009, Train — performing Friday night at the Grand Garden Arena — was set to headline the annual Bite of Las Vegas music festival at Desert Breeze Park. Imagine Dragons, then an upstart rock band building its Vegas following, had earned chance to also play the festival by winning a battle of the bands event earlier that year at House of Blues.

ID took the stage at Bite of Las Vegas midday on Saturday, but performed a cracking set that thrilled a small crowd of devotees.

Later that afternoon, Train, the event’s big-name headliner, pulled out because frontman Pat Monahan fell ill. Within hours, Imagine Dragons was swiftly pulled back onstage, and turned in a thrilling performance — for about 22,000 fans.

Four months later, Imagine Dragons headlined the Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip and began to evolve as a national act. They also became a hot opening band for such rockers as Nico Vega.

Nico Vega plays into Imagine Dragons’ history through yet another coincidental connection: It was at a December 2009 show at since-closed Wasted Space at Hard Rock Hotel that Reynolds met his future wife, Nico Vega singer Aja Volkman. The couple now have three daughters, 4-year-old Arrow and twins Gia and Coco, born March 28, a journey made possible by a Train cancellation.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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