This year, stealing the show honors would have to come down to a tie between New Politics and Imagine Dragons. New Politics played second, on the side-stage but performed with a vibrancy that would not have seemed out of place on the main stage (where these boys will likely end up by next year). Originally hailing from Denmark, New Politics have made New York home for the last three years as they've chased the ever-elusive stateside fame. With their album due to drop on Tuesday we've only just begun to appreciate the fun this band has to offer. If you haven't had the chance to seem them live yet, do it. Do it now.
Imagine Dragons performed a similarly show stealing set, despite frontman Dan Reynolds broken hand. Having already stolen out hearts with one of the best live shows of last year, Imagine Dragons brought their percussion-centric set hard to the crowd in Irvine early in the show, but performed like the headliners they are destined to be, outshining later performing bands like 30 Seconds to Mars, who just came off as pompous and overblown, wrapped in their own self-importance.
Props to KROQ for yet again fielding an intriguing mix of bands. Hopefully everyone found somebody new to fall in love with.