Fans lining up to enter The Forum in Inglewood for the ALT (98.7 FM) and iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego concert on Saturday night clearly had some energy to experience. They were ready to dance and sing — even while masked — to Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Kings of Leon, Twenty One Pilots, All Time Low, Willow and Måneskin.
With COVID-19 cases climbing in Los Angeles County and some live events once again postponing, some ticketholders expressed concerns about a last-minute cancellation on social media. But the event went on as scheduled without any acts out due to illness and the venue firmly stuck to its protocol in requiring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests, enforcing face masks indoors and there was even available quick testing on-site. Although it was impossible to police everybody, the staff inside did make sure to remind fans to keep their masks on and it seemed like a majority did.
“You deserve a night to just let go and enjoy yourselves and the people around you,” Imagine Dragons vocalist Dan Reynolds told the enthusiastic crowd after playing the band’s hit “Believer,” the very first song of the evening. In recent years, iHeartRadio has had some of the larger acts hit the stage first — like having BTS open the KIIS (102.7 FM) Jingle Ball last month at this same venue — so fans fill seats early on as these events are often livestreamed.
Imagine Dragons was the opener, coming in hot with “Whatever It Takes,” “Thunder,” “Radioactive” and the song “Demons,” before which Reynolds candidly shared with the audience, “Therapy has saved my life,” he said. “Your life is always worth living.”
Italian rock band Måneskin received a warm welcome as it ripped into “Zittie E Buoni” and “Mamma Mia” before delivering its juiced-up version of the Four Seasons’ “Beggin’.” This band looks cool, they sound cool and vocalist Damiano David has a whole lot of swagger. Although its set was short, it was pretty sweet and inevitably we’ll be seeing more of this band at festivals and in clubs in Southern California.
Coldplay’s set felt a lot like a polished dress rehearsal for its upcoming stadium tour, which hits SoFi Stadium April 26 and 30. The band blended brand-new material with a few of its early hits. They opened with the intro to its latest album, “Music Of The Spheres,” and the very ’80s-sounding “Higher Power.” Then they squeezed in “My Universe,” which featured BTS’ parts piped in, and “Human Heart,” with R&B sister-duo We Are King from the new record. They also played “People of the Pride,” a much harder Coldplay song that vocalist Chris Martin prefaced by saying this was the band’s “first rock song.” He said he had no idea why they’ve been referred to as a rock band all of these years when “We are like a soft thing,” he said with a laugh. The band also played “Clocks,” “Yellow” and a stirring version of “Fix You.”
Willow made a major impression with her performance. The daughter of two famous actor/musicians, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, she can hold her own and has a voice that commands attention. She performed “Transparentsoul” and “Meet Me at Our Spot,” the TikTok-famous song with Tyler Cole that is elevated tenfold when she delivers it in a live setting.
Kings of Leon got right to it with “Crawl” and “Waste a Moment.” “Sex on Fire” brought energy into the venue, fans swayed along to the moody “Closer” and roared back at vocalist-guitarist Caleb Followill when he threw the mic out for everyone to sing the chorus of “Use Somebody.”
Pop-punk band All Time Low was excited and humbled by its placement within the line-up. “Can you believe Coldplay played before us,” guitarist Jack Barakat asked. “I don’t even believe it.” The band held its own and had enough hits like “Once in a Lifetime” and “Monsters” to keep the crowd on its feet. Although they weren’t the first group to use the confetti and streamer cannons during the show, they were the first to bust out the pyrotechnics and play in front of massive fireball blasts.
In the time of COVID, no one expects a special guest, but ALT pulled it off and brought out Avril Lavigne for four songs and the crowd loved it. She was so much fun and came out with “Girlfriend,” played her latest hit, “Bite Me,” “My Happy Ending” and she ended with her first big hit, “Sk8er Boi.”
The evening wrapped with Twenty One Pilots, a duo that consistently puts on a wildly entertaining live performance. Vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun make a lot of noise for only two guys on a stage, but they managed to captivate an audience that sang so loudly along to “Stressed Out” and “Heathens” at the start of the set. The guys played a wild version of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” and incorporated a bit of My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not Okay” into its own hit, “Shy Away.” Joseph did brave going out into the audience to sing with fans during “Ride” where he encountered Muse frontman Matt Bellamy in the audience dancing along with him.
https://www.sbsun.com/2022/01/16/alter-ego-concert-delivers-coldplay-imagine-dragons-a-surprise-guest-and-more-at-the-forum/ ALTer Ego concert delivers Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, a surprise guest and more at The Forum – San Bernardino Sun