Imagine Dragons @ Brixton Academy (25/11/2013) – Live Review

The house lights go down for the third time and back of the stage is illuminated with demon eyes, blinking in the darkness under the hood of the picturesque frame of Brixton Academy. A few silhouettes pace across the stage and the lights come up as the band begin pounding on several drums around the stage in a rhythmic and tribal tradition. Lead singer, Dan Reynolds trades his drumsticks for the microphone and belting out the opening lines of their iTunes promotional single ‘Round and Round’ with bright orange and yellow lights, mimicking the tone of the single cover.

“When we could out on the stage I felt refreshed” despite being on tour for over a year, and flying over from LA, hot off a killer performance and Favourite Artist – Alternative Rock win at the AMA the night before. Every song sounds like a hit, and the band are full of energy and attitude as though fighting up for your attention.

Every song is a hit, the crowd know every word to every song to the amazement of the band as they perform songs from their debut album Night Visions as well as their previous EPs from the past five years, including ‘It’s Time’, ‘On Top of the World’, and their new single ‘Demons’.

A strong factor of this show apart from Imagine Dragons’ was the opening acts: Australian AltRock band, Atlas Genius and 23 year-old Geordie, Dan Croll, who go above and beyond to warm up the frozen crowd and bring up energy levels.

Although Dan is front and centre, every band member get their time to shine. lead guitarist, Wayne Serman’s guitar solos match his “classic rock” hair-do as he thrashes his locks about. The bassist, Ben McKee is energized as he spends his every non-playing moment hyping up the crowd whereas drummer, Dan Platzman, despite not being at the forefront cannot be ignored as never misses a beat and even takes the time during a room stilling performance of ‘Lay Me Down’ to play the viola.

“We feel so blessed to be able to play such a beautiful venue played by so many greats” Dan says, in more awe than the screaming girls in the front row reaching to touch his hand, before the band begins throwing themselves around the stage to Blur’s ‘Song #1’ which gets the whole crowd jumping for the first time all night instead of just the front excluding ‘It’s Time’.

But the crowd doesn’t come alive like when the “oohs” and strum of an acoustic guitar begin, signifying the band’s international hit ‘Radioactive’. As the band begin their tribal drum introduction, the crowd begin singing the first verse eager, to get the thumping and chanting of the chorus. The band drops everything for another drum sequence so precisely executed that it sounds hypnotizing, building to a crescendo that is the crowd yelling the lyrics, as though battling to drown out the band.

As a blue hue covers the stage and the band walks away saying goodnight, the crowd chants “We want more!” until the band comes out and performs one last time.

The band clearly “feels like home” at this London venue and go out of their way to give a riveting performance that has the crowd buzzing as they pour out into the streets of Brixton.



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