Tag Archives: Imagine Dragons

been | Imagine Dragons – Spark Arena

I must confess, I’m not too familiar with Imagine Dragons so wasn’t sure what to expect when they played to a sold-out crowd at Spark Arena on Monday night.

First up, was Australian Indie-Rock group The Temper Trap who have graced our shores before in support of Coldplay many years ago. Warming up the crowd and giving us a terrific set that covered their last few albums – most notably their iconic closing song, Sweet Disposition which seems to be on everyone’s playlist still, nine years after it’s release.

After a change of set which saw a few massive LED screens positioned over the stage, the crowd was ready for Imagine Dragons. The band arrived on stage to massive applause. I immediately noticed lead singer Dan Reynolds was in “Activewear” which is something I don’t expect from a pop-rock band from Las Vegas but hey maybe that’s the rock’n’roll thing to do nowadays.

Opening up with I don’t know why and transitioning into Believer I realised why he was in “Activewear”. Reynolds is the ultimate performer with vocals to match his physicality. He pretty much ran the perimeter of the stage, did some very low squats and high knee runs, muscles glistening with sweat, all while singing.

If you aren’t a fan of Imagine Dragons you would have definitely have heard their music somewhere. It seems to be the number one music choice for contestants who sing on The Voice, American Idol or some other generic singing competition that we all secretly enjoy watching.

The show had a few touching moments, with Reynolds and band dedicating Forever Young (originally by Alphaville, not the Beyonce/Jay-Z version) to the recent school shooting in America and Reynolds talking about managing his depression and anxiety with professional help. Forever Young wasn’t the only cover that night as they also did a beautiful re-imagination of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds.   Towards the end of the show, the band relocated to the opposite end of the main stage to treat the audience in the back to a more intimate performance which was beautiful.

Peppered throughout the night were confetti shooting out of canons, massive white balloons bouncing around the arena (hello Coldplay 2008), and abstract video imaging on the big LED screens. The band definitely put on a massive performance and they were feeding off of the crowd’s energy; giving us an amazing show.

The band finished off their set on the main stage with their hit Radioactive, incorporating large perspex drums that all members of the band used to great effect. I think most people left the arena that night either feeling very impressed or turned on (or both).

I may not have been a fan heading into the show, but I definitely am now.

Did I mention Reynolds had his shirt off?!

reviewed | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack

Boasting $161 million at the US Box Office on it’s opening weekend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire looks impressive and better still, composer James Newton Howard has done a brilliant job to score the film.

The original motion picture soundtrack for this movie is darker, earthier and gritty, compared to its predecessor and complemented by a well rounded selection of artists. The first few singles you’ve probably already heard on the radio over the last couple of months – Coldplay‘s AtlasSIA ft. The Weeknd & Diplo – Elastic Heart and Christina AguileraWe Remain. Other artists also on the album are The National, Of Monsters and Men, The Weeknd, Imagine Dragons, Lorde, The Lumineers, Ellie Goulding, Patti Smith and Santigold.

I have to say my continuing favourite – leaked on twitter two weeks ago – is Lorde’s cover of Tears for Fears 80s hit Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

The track ever so slightly builds over the first minute making you crave more, then come the minute thirty mark begins a dramatic climax building anticipation, enshrouding you in its layers, losing you to the music but then at the very last moment yanks you back out with barely time to gasp, only to hear Lorde end with ‘…The World’. My sole criticism I have of the song is that it’s not nearly long enough. At a length of only two minutes thirty five it’s the shortest song on the soundtrack and pretty much half the length of the original.  It’s torture and I implore to Lorde that she return to the studio asap to record a longer version, I want more!

Other standouts for me were Imagine Dragons – Who We Are, it utilises a familiar samba beat melded with ethereal synth. Imagine Dragons have been around since 2008 but have really only made it mainstream in the last year. They are an up and coming American alternative rock band and are probably best known for their recent single Radioactive.

The erudite songstress Patti Smith singing Capitol Letter,  evokes a real sense of ages combine with the earthy folk sounds of the instruments giving much depth but also tying this song in so well with the rest of the soundtrack.

Lastly, worth a mention is SantigoldShooting Arrows At The Sky which comes complete with gorgeous guitar riff and unique vocals that float over the richness of a winning Santigold formula.

The album is full of great tracks and you may very well have your own favourites.  Regardless, I highly recommend you have a listen and get yourself a copy. And of course if you’re in New Zealand, the movie itself is currently out in cinema.

Available on iTunes

Available on Google Play