REVIEW: Imagine Dragons at the SSE Hydro

Published by The Student Advertiser.

It was only two years ago that the American dream-team, Imagine Dragon’s, graced Glasgow’s evergreen music scene for the first time, debuting to a mere 150 attendees on the 15th of November 2013.

It was only one year ago that the same Nevada giants returned to Glasgow, this time playing to a slightly larger crowd of approximately 2,500, which took place precisely on the same rainy November evening a year later.

It has now been a matter of days since the return of Imagine Dragons to Glasgow in 2015. Frontman Dan Reynolds took to centre stage to welcome 12,000 to what would be an evening of iconic tuneage and spectacle at the SSE Hydro. With a great grin, he acknowledged their return on this same day with much humility and humbleness, officially declaring November 15th as ‘Glasgow Day’ before embarking on a night which will be remembered for all the right reasons.

Like many, you may have heard music by Imagine Dragons without actually realising you have. Their single Radioactive – which has been certified ten times platinum in the USA – was used heavily in the promotion of Assassin’s Creed III as well as in various (and I mean various) other commercials and movie soundtracks between 2012-2014. For the football fans among us, their single On Top of the World was licenced for usage on the FIFA13 soundtrack as well as being utilised in the Windows 8 television adverts in 2012. Their sometimes electronic/ sometimes hugely acoustic genre makes for dynamic and exciting listening – hit after hit after hit reinstating the undeniable truth that Dan Reynolds can-and-a-half sing a tune.

Fearful that the weekend’s events in Paris would be ever-looming in those silences between songs, Reynolds took it upon himself at the beginning of the performance to acknowledge his unwillingness to bow down to fear of terror. His words – amplified above the drones of the entire band – would have brought a tear to a glass eye, uniting the audience in a state of power which will show the country that we are better than what we have seen this past week.

The gig itself cannot be classified as anything less than stunning. Broken down by many interludes, from an audience participation-fuelled rendition of the Proclaimers’ hit 500 Miles to epic drums and guitar solos by Daniel Platzman and Daniel Wayne Sermon respectively, their time on stage flew by without so much as a puff of Smoke. The band played not only songs from their brand new record Smoke and Mirrors but also hits from their previous record Night Vision, which went down, as expected, like an absolute treat. There is no doubt that the audience were eagerly anticipating the apocalyptical spectacle of Radioactive’s iconic *inhale…exhale* which was mesmerising to be a part of in the sea of 12,000 spectators.

It’s incredible to fathom how Imagine Dragon’s success has amplified over just three years. To jump to an audience of 2,500 from merely 150 in one city is just incredible. But 2,500 to 12,000? Pffft – imagine doing that?

Header image and photograph created by Rachael Procter




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