With a name so fantastical and dreamy as ‘Imagine Dragons’, it would be cheating for their live performance to be any different. Even before their album ‘Night Visions’ was released, their gig on 11th April at the Forum had completely sold out. This promised to be huge. Luckily the four-strong band, hailing from Las Vegas, lived up to their name – and beyond.
For his Christmas present, I bought tickets from my brother (and, conveniently, I had to go with him as he needed someone over the age of 18). As he has not yet reached the time for a major growth spurt, we got there half an hour before doors opened so he could hopefully see more. I am sooo fuckin’ organised, I thought. As we approached the venue there was a queue going round the corner. And another corner. And another. This is what impact Imagine Dragons have had upon the citizens of London: fans are already smitten.
The first support act, Eliza and the Bear – who definitely had no one called Eliza in the band- were absolutely worth mentioning. A rockier version of Mumford & Sons and with the musical impact that Arcade Fire can initiate, the band had no problem warming up the crowd with their instrumental rifts, high energy and the interesting blend of vocals from the band’s two main singers. The next support act – The Good Natured – were not good natured at all and were actually a little bit
Imagine Dragons appeared on the dimly lit stage, only revealing themselves to the light when the drum was hit, and then started with ‘Round and Round’ – quite a tame beginning, but it eased the audience in nicely. Then, they burst into action with their song ‘Amsterdam’ – what came next was huge drum instrumentals, fist punches, audience sing-a-longs and light up balloons. My brother’s favourite song of the night: ‘On Top of the World’ – he said the mix of instruments made the performance better than the recorded version. Mine? Unfortunately I have to be boring and say one of their most famous hits, ‘Radioactive’. The longer instrumental rift before the final chorus was mesmerising, a complex layering of different drums, violin strings and guitar which built up to a dramatic finish. It seems that Imagine Dragons can command the same sort of ethereal theatricality and audience response that I’ve seen previously in 30 Seconds to Mars and Bastille.
Not only did Imagine Dragons completely fixate their audience, the band members themselves found a soft spot in the audience’s hearts. Dan Reynolds, the lead singer, let out a little personal insight by explaining how, when he was younger, gigs were the one place on the world that he could be himself and not be judged. He said ‘we’re just regular people’ and ‘I don’t know how you guys even know who we are, this is so weird for us’.
Of course we know who you are, Imagine Dragons… and so will many, many more people across the country by the end of this year.
I promise you, see this band before they’re selling out the O2 – it won’t be long.