Imagine Dragons seal major status at the Forum
The biggest test for a rock band is moving from a tiny club stage to a major music venue. Back in November, Imagine Dragons were playing at the Dingwalls in front of 200 raving fans, in front of whom they announced their future show at the Koko.
Tickets started to sell out quickly and they were promptly relocated to the bigger and more prestigious Forum in Kentish Town, which many high-profile bands and singers have played – including Coldplay, Oasis, The Killers, Keane, Rihanna and Justin Timberlake.
Performing in front of your hardcore followers is one thing; it’s another thing entirely to win over the curious.
Opening for the Las Vegas alt-rockers were two up-and-coming local indie bands: Arcade Fire-inspired Eliza and the Bear and the electro-pop trio The Good Natured. While the former warmed up the audience, the latter delivered a thrilling set with the skill worthy of a headlining act.
Imagine Dragons kicked off with Round and Round, a powerful but simple mid-tempo track with huge drum beats and a reverberating chorus: the perfect opening to push the crowd into a massive sing-along and set a dividing line between them and those who played before.
Frontman Dan Reynolds looked spirited, jumping from one side of the stage to the other and playing the giant 36-inch drum that sits right next to his mic stand: that very instrument has become the band’s symbol.
Each song carries an addictive, catchy element, with the melodies easy to listen to but hard to forget: from fan-favourite Amsterdam to the Coldplay-esque Demons, Imagine Dragons have an infallible recipe and they know how to use it.
The highlights of the show were the group’s two biggest singles, Radioactive – enriched by a prolonged psychedelic finale – and It’s Time – during which the audience was even louder than Reynolds himself. The funniest moment, though, was when they released a flurry of illuminated balloons during Underdog.
All of Reynolds’ energy seemed to transform suddenly into shyness when he admitted, “I really don’t know what to say, I’m very speechless” just before playing the final song – the deep and intense Nothing Left to Say. But he had already done enough: Imagine Dragons passed the test.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
Photos: Laura Denti
For further information about Imagine Dragons and future tour dates visit here.
Watch It’s Time live at The Forum here: