Imagine Dragons at Melbourne’s Palace Theatre
In the famous 8th-century poem, Beowulf, after a long and arduous quest of 50 years its legendary hero defies heroic odds to slay a dragon. It seems like a strange comparison, and yet when Dan Reynolds took the helm of his Las Vegas-based alternative rock band last night it seemed a fitting symbol. The odds Imagine Dragons have overcome on their quest from empty smoke-filled casino halls to booked-out stadium shows, and the speed at which they’ve ascended the pop-rock ladder since the release of Night Visions (2012) is nothing short of an epic tale.
Greeted by a vocal mix of fans young and old, the band’s nervous and giddy reactions showed how the idea of being rock stars had not quite sunk in. “Thank you so much,” said Reynolds, his face aglow. ”I’ve had a bit of a s*** day, but to end it like this is amazing.”
From the first song of the night, Round and Round, with Reynolds banging on a giant bass drum and the guitars soaring through a wall of sound, it was clear crowd participation was going to be at an all-time high. Although supported by a talented cast of musicians (Wayne Sermon on guitar, Ben McKee on bass, and Dan Platzman on drums) it was clear that the focus was on the charismatic frontman Reynolds. He stood always at the front of the stage, sometimes reaching up to the ceiling, sometimes posturing on his knees.
The band moved through a list of energy-infused tracks: Amsterdam, then Tiptoe and the hugely popular It’s Time, which had even the bar staff mouthing “I’m never changing who I am”. The mood changed momentarily when Reynolds went into Thirty Lives (a quieter number about a friend struck down by cancer), but then it was full-steam ahead until the grand finale, the dubby Radioactive, which had the house clapping and punching the air.
Imagine Dragons flew into town, spread their wings and even dropped balloons full of tinsel from the ceiling. Sure, there were not too many risks here, with poppy hooks and sing-along anthems, but what they did they did well. If the thousands of strained octaves and smiling faces are anything to go by, the Dragons are sure to be back again really soon.
Photos: Bas Van Uyen
For further information about Imagine Dragons and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Radioactive here: