Imagine Dragons live at Roundhouse, London, June 2017
In anticipation of the upcoming third studio album Evolve (ƎVOLVE), scheduled for release later this month, American alt-rock band Imagine Dragons played a very special show at Roundhouse last night I was fortunate enough to attend it. Having two of the top ten most downloaded songs in rock history, ‘Radioactive’ and ‘Demons’, the band has had a meteoric rise to fame from playing small venues in front of 100 to some of the biggest music festivals in the world and being able to draw a crowd of early-twenty-somethings that literally went around the block when I arrived at the venue.
Glasgow duo Saint PHNX successfully opened the night and as the clock struck 21:15, the lights dimmed to reveal a row of pink incandescent lights on the ground at both sides of the main drum kit. The band entered the modest percussion-heavy stage to quite a dramatic intro and roaring crowd and started the night with ‘Thunder’, the second single from their upcoming album.
The melodic roller coaster set list consisted of 15 full songs and one encore which included sing-a-long hits like ‘Demons’ and ‘Shots’, pounding bass drum beat driven, ‘Radioactive’ and an extended guitar solo by lead guitarist, Wayne Sermon guitarist during rock tune ‘I’m So Sorry’. A stripped-down cover of Radiohead’s famous ‘Creep’ (my absolute favourite song) also featured. An extended acoustic intro to ‘I Bet My Life’ momentarily slowed down the pace but received one of the biggest crowd reactions of the night. The show peaked with ‘Shots’ and ‘Amsterdam”’ The song, “’It’s Time”, that begin and ends with the band hitting out the beat on their own chests, was dedicated to Manchester.
Lead vocalist, Dan Reynolds, dressed in an unassuming red plaid shirt, black pants and Vans, vocally slid from rock growls to falsettos, bounced around, shared stories of how his wife recently gave birth to their twin babies and encouraged sing-a-longs. On a few occasions, he would thrust his microphone stand in the air to the delight of the audience.
Last night was a spectacular display of all the Vegas four’s musical and vocal abilities in front of impressive strobe lighting and black starry night backdrop with fans switching between having their hands and phones in the air, hips swinging, clapping and fist-pumping. The finale was a spectacular light-and-drum performance of the massive hit ‘Radioactive’.
A lot of different influences can be heard in their songs – amongst others: Nirvana, Muse, The Beatles and Coldplay – but the way they combine rock n roll with mainstream pop, folk rhythms, and hip hop is unprecedented. Aside from maybe feeling the show was too short, can’t fault it.
Whatever It Takes
Demons (Bleeding Out first verse intro)
I’m So Sorry
I Bet My Life
Creep (Radiohead cover)
Radioactive (Nothing Left to Say intro)
Reviewed for www.gigjunkies.com