For the first song of their set “Fallen” notice how Imagine Dragons immediately establish authority and begin to engage the crowd with each member working an area of the arena by spreading out across the stage and connecting with audience members through one-on-one and zone communications. It is important to remember that in a large venue to start engaging those in the back first – by default being farthest away these audience members are least engaged and it is your job to make sure they are with you from the start. Front man Dan Reynolds does a great job of reaching out to the upper tiers while lead guitarist Wayne “Wing” Sermon uses far stage right (one of the two most dramatic places on stage) to make sure the entire arena is with them from the start of the show.
Most acts do not have multiple hits on one record and most indie and DIY artists are dating their audience where Imagine Dragons are married to theirs leaving them plenty of options for an opening song that the crowd is sure to follow, yet they choose a radio hit that is familiar and easy for the crowd to follow and enjoy. The first song of your set should follow suit.