Live Review: Imagine Dragons, Capital FM Arena (06/11/2015)

Arriving somewhat flustered to the Capital FM Arena to collect my ticket, purchased very last minute from a kindly person on eBay, I was surprised at just how quickly the queues were managed, and in no time at all I was dead centre of the standing area, swamped by the masses on all sides – the excitement in the air was palpable, and it was to be a night to remember.

Sunset Sons began to play shortly after this, and the sound engineer’s mixing was phenomenal, some of the best I’ve heard; every note rang clearly, but not at any detriment to the vocals. I’d actually not heard them before, and I was left a little underwhelmed when their set finished – although catchy stadium sized music, the band had little energy, being incredibly static for the duration of their slot, and saying perhaps three or four words to the audience the entire time. Musically they were competent, but nothing to get too excited about; it felt as though the venue was perhaps just a little bit too big for them at their current level.

“The excitement in the air was palpable, it was to be a night to remember”

Not too long afterward came the moment everyone had been anticipating; down went the lights, an ominous yet exciting bass and drum heavy intro ensued, and Imagine Dragons took to the stage, all guns blazing. It was clear they were having fun, and powering through as many songs as they could in their set came naturally to them, with next to no pauses in the music, and what seemed like tireless dancing, drumming and movement making it as much a visual spectacle as an auditory treat, making full use of the stage, walkway and even at times the crowd area. The set was well paced, littered with songs old and new, at every turn, with nothing ever feeling out of place. On top of this, the band came across as very conscientious, even presenting a new song, to the light of 10,000 phone torches and protesting the government’s handling of current migrant crisis. Things soon picked back up after this however, with a fantastic guitar solo, and fan favourite “Radioactive” near closing.

I’ve not seen a band in quite some time look so genuinely thrilled to be playing, and their enthusiasm definitely rubbed off on the audience, leaving everyone wanting more, but knowing that the group had put their all into the performance. It’s refreshing to see a band who are just so grateful to be there, and making the most of it in the way that they clearly were, and I left impressed both with their work ethic, and the quality of the show, being one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time.

Jacob Banks

Image: harrycheng1117 via Flickr

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Co-Editor of the Music Section at University of Nottingham's IMPACT Magazine.

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