What started as a seemingly normal assembly and grant presentation at Ed W. Clark High School, turned into a full-blown concert by Imagine Dragons.
VH1 Save The Music Foundation, joined by Life is Beautiful Music & Art Festival and Toyota presented three Las Vegas schools with music education grants. Dell H. Robison Middle School, Cashman Middle School and Ed W. Clark High School each received a grant to provide instruments and other support resources to enhance their existing music programs.
As the music students from all three schools filed into Ed W. Clark’s Performing Arts Center on Thursday, September 21, they were greeted by Clark’s marching band, in full uniform, proudly standing on stage. The excitement was palpable as murmurs pulsed through the crowd. After some words from the school’s principal, Jill Pendleton; CCSD superintendent, Pat Skorkowsky; Justin Weniger of Wendoh Media and Life is Beautiful and Henry Donahue of VH1’s Save The Music Foundation, the school band launched into a riveting rendition of “Radioactive,” the beloved hit from local heroes and international sensations, Imagine Dragons.
The 400 students sat politely as the marching band took their seats, all anxiously awaiting the surprise they had been promised. When Imagine Dragons took the auditorium stage, the kids exploded and the band beamed. With nominal amplification, the quickly broke into a minimalistic version of “Believer,” and the kids sang along to the hook.
The band’s frontman, Dan Reynolds, who went to Bonanza High School, smiled as he said, “This band would not be here without Las Vegas,” immediately launching into “It’s Time,” a song dedicated to and inspired by the Valley.
Between songs, Reynolds related to the kids through the shared city and thanked them for their acceptance. “Keep changing the world!” he proclaimed before playing “Demons,” and then closed their set with “Radioactive,” using the whole audience for backup vocals.
After the formal big check presentation, Imagine Dragons posed with students for selfies, causing the amazingly restrained kids to finally jump out of their seats.