AT&T Block Party
Imagine Dragons (8:30 p.m.)
After releasing their 2012 full-length debut Night Visions (featuring the Grammy Award-winning single “Radioactive”), Imagine Dragons spent nearly two years bringing their passionately inventive brand of alt-rock to arenas around the world. To deal with the chaos of a touring schedule that included 130 headline dates and 50 festivals across the globe, the Las Vegas-based quartet threw themselves into creating material for their next album. “So many things were changing for us so quickly, the only way to feel some kind of stability was to keep writing,” says frontman Dan Reynolds, who founded Imagine Dragons with guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. “Going up to my hotel room to work on new songs became something I looked forward to every night on tour,” Reynolds adds. “There were definitely a few times when the person next door’s banging on the wall because it’s 4 a.m. and they’re trying to sleep and I’m in there belting out some song I just wrote.”
Weezer (6:30 p.m.)
In 2014, the conventional wisdom is that the album is dead, and that nobody listens to a record the whole way through. Rivers Cuomo figures there's two ways to respond. "You can change with the times, give in, and not put a lot into your album," he says. "Or you can say that for artistic and creative reasons, we have to try so hard to make this an album people want to listen to. We decided to respect it."
So for its ninth studio album, Weezer--Rivers Cuomo (vocals/guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (guitar), and Scott Shriner (bass)--reunited with the man who helped the band make some of their most iconic album-length work. Ric Ocasek, frontman for the Cars, was also the producer on Weezer's self-titled 1994 debut (aka The Blue Album) and their self-titled third album from 2001 (aka The Green Album). The resulting record is one of the finest in Weezer’s vast and varied catalogue. It's out September 30, 2014, and it's called Everything Will Be Alright in the End.
Cold War Kids (4:45 p.m.)
Ten years have come and gone since Cold War Kids first took to the stage in their homegrown Southern California scene. Time is typically unkind to indie rock bands. So how is that Cold War Kids are still here in 2014, selling out tours and releasing their fifth album in a decade amidst these 40 seasons of torrential fate winds, while so many of their peers have vanished?
“We worked really hard, that’s the answer,” says Nathan Willett. “We worked really hard and we were successful, which is freakishly impossible, and we should embrace it. That’s our story.”
From his post at the front, Willett—along with the band’s bassist and visual director Matt Maust—has led Cold War Kids through the tricky 21st century rock and roll landscape, soaring over the peaks and facing the valleys head-on while carving out a place of the band’s own. Reaping sky-high praise from a mid-2000s blogosphere then growing wings as a live show juggernaut, they stand now with their fifth studio album Hold My Home as both a different animal and an unaltered beast all at once.