Belsonic Review: Imagine Dragons a mish-mash of Coldplay and Script
Imagine Dragons arrived at global fame – as is possible in this age of smartphones and Spotify – with total speed, moving from gigging in half-empty casinos in their native Las Vegas to peaking at No2 on the US Billboard chart with their debut album Night Visions.
They quickly added a Grammy, two Teen Choice Awards, being fawned over by rock bible Rolling Stone and being named 2013's biggest breakout band by MTV.
These indie rockers are fronted by strapping singer Dan Reynolds, one of these good vibes indie boys who gives peace signs, punched the air a lot and periodically thumped a huge drum.
The big one was Radioactive, with its end-is-nigh spikiness about the Apocalypse. Reynolds was a bundle of jumping-jack energy throughout but more plaintive delivering breakout single It's Time, an ace song.
Imagine Dragons are basically like listening to something by Coldplay, The Killers, The Script or The Fray, mashed and filtered through a sonic algorithm. If you listen hard enough, apparently, certain other critics have found traces of the hoe-down folk-pop of Mumford & Sons and a smidgen of Arcade Fire; others talk of neon digital and disco inflections. To which I say: not really.
At Belsonic the crowd seemed to have a deep knowledge of the back catalogue; Imagine Dragons were one of the most downloaded bands from Spotify in the UK last year.
Yet it seems only the cool kids know who Imagine Dragons are.
These indie dudes are just not terribly unique – although nobody here, seemingly, agreed, as they swayed and sang to mild indie-rock offerings.
Still, at their best moments there were hints of an authenticity that may yet supplant the pastiche.