Concert review: Imagine Dragons
It doesn't hurt to hear some inspirational words from time to time. No matter how clichéd they are, and especially when they're from the mouth of a rocker. Not just any musician, but the charming, able-bodied (we've checked) and harmonising lips of frontman Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons. After the roads have cooled down from Nico Rosberg's maiden win and champagne showers have dried up, the Las Vegas natives took centre stage at The Padang for a fitting Formula 1 finale.
The four-piece band (made up of Reynolds, lead guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman) started the show with Shots, the high-octane single from Smoke + Mirrors. Although it set the tone for the festivities to come, the crowd didn't really start to sing along and lose themselves in the night until Reynolds started his much-needed speech before launching into It's Time: "We currently live in a world of separation. Of religion, race, creed, class. People trying to tear us apart. But we will not be afraid of everybody. Love will persist. It may sound like a cheesy thing but I don't give a damn. No matter where you are in the world — I'm from Las Vegas but I feel at home tonight. This is a song about that."
This melancholic tinge carried on into Imagine Dragons' cover of Alphaville's Forever Young, getting arms swaying in unison. Reynolds' role as the lead is rightfully so — the 29-year-old charmed the crowd, giving a particularly memorable anecdote on a massage he had that Sunday morning. "I got a massage from a very strong woman this morning," he shared after playing the people pleaser, Smoke + Mirrors. "Not a laughing matter, she's so strong! You can tell a lot about a place by the way they do their massages. I don't mean them in a sexual way." It's certainly a change from artistes obligatory (yet endearingly) reflecting on our weather.
He also introduced his band by way of their relationship status. With Reynolds' instructions, the on-stage screen even zoomed into Platzman's single self — with the drummer rising his arms in amusement. "Look at that beard," Reynolds remarked admiringly. The frontman also had the right moves, showing off his great sense of rhythm...not to mention his pelvic muscles when he decided a t-shirt wasn't necessary.
While Reynolds raised temperatures, he also gave his fellow bandmates ample time to shine. Imagine Dragons might be known for their heavy drum sound, but Sermon's prowess on guitars served an impressive switch up from time to time. The band played hits from both their albums Night Visions and Smoke + Mirrors — crowd favourites included a pared back version of Gold, a happy-go-lucky On Top Of The World and the genre-bending I Bet My Life On You. Their last number Radioactive saw all four going for the drums, with Reynolds giving his all in the rock anthem to conclude Formula 1 with a bang.
Imagine Dragons performed at the 2016 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix on 18 September. For more Formula 1 action, click here. To read our interview with Wayne Sermon, click here.