Imagine Dragons At 3Arena – Photos & Review
The excitement of fans in the 3Arena last night was palpable. For the first time in over two years Imagine Dragons were victoriously returning to Irish shores with their latest tour. The band has gone from strength to strength since they dropped their second album, Smoke and Mirrors, featuring on a series of movie soundtracks and releasing a string of hits from the album.
On the path to glory the Nevada rockers were kind enough to bring Anglo-Aussie surfers, Sunset Sons, with them on the European leg of their tour. What a pair the two bands make. Sunset Sons have the sort of spun silk vocals that perfectly compliment the bolstering rock undertones of Imagine Dragons. The crowd was almost half full as Sunset Sons burst into their set, one that was jam-packed with quality tunes, which perfectly warmed up the crowd. Their album is rife with indie/rock anthems, with lead singer, Rory Williams displaying cool swagger on the keyboards. Their pared back set shouldn’t be misinterpreted as reflective of their sound, which is rich with clashes of drums and intense guitar riffs. Tracks such as ‘She Wants’ drew a swell of fans closer to the stage and it’d be easy to see them having their own tour soon enough considering their ease onstage and their Kings of Leon-esque style. However, they demonstrated their ever-developing sound with tracks such as ‘Medicine’ which undeniably had a more Mumford and Sons element.
The beauty of the band is their variance, their calmness on the stage, the laidback manner in which Williams handled a mistake, declaring it was better for him to start again. He handled it like a pro and had the crowd in the palm of his hand towards the end. The two most rock-heavy tracks, ‘Remember’ and ‘On the Road’, were the perfect close to their set whilst simultaneously easing the crowd into the gritty, pulsing sound of Imagine Dragons.
As the Las Vegas rockers quietly walked onto the stage, there was a sombre air to them. Despite this, they burst through tracks like ‘Shot’ and ‘Trouble’ with relative ease. There was a tangible energy to them with frontman Dan Reynolds engaging in some fitful dance routines. However, this was all overshadowed by what came next. Speaking of the atrocities in Paris earlier last week, Reynolds used the stage to discuss the importance of unity, love, respect and peace. There was a genuine angst to his words, a passionate belief that regardless of what horrors occur we would always have music. It was remarkably emphasised by ‘It’s Time to Begin’ and a cover of ‘Forever Young’, almost reinforcing the importance of learning from this experience and holding what we love. At one point, the band and every single audience member used their phone torches. I can’t adequately express how remarkably beautiful it was, like a modern version of lighters in the air.
From that point on, the band’s energy rocketed as they performed some of their best tracks from their second album, including ‘Polaroid’ and ‘Roots’. The range of Reynolds’s voice was true to form and his energy, the band’s energy, was absolutely contagious. If there was one rock show to be in attendance this year, then it was Imagine Dragons. One of the most head-banging tracks, ‘I’m So Sorry’, was just a cacophony of sounds and as the stage burst into light all one could appreciate was the group’s musical genius. Furthermore, the respective guitar solo of Wayne “Wing” Sermon and drum solo Daniel Platzman, marked the musical talents of the band as a whole.
The closing track, which couldn’t be anything but ‘Radioactive’, was just a powerhouse of sound. The arena was filled with Reynolds’s vocals and the audience singing along, almost drowning out every word. If their last show here marked their rise as one of the foremost rock groups, then last night’s performance cemented their place in the rock ‘n’ roll hall of fame.
Words by Elaine McDonald
Photos by Tara Stanhope