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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

Beyond smoke and mirrors: Imagine Dragons

Photos and text by Clarisse Esmile


American rock band Imagine Dragons is really something. From the stage set-up to the clothes the band members were wearing, they managed to give Manila a gimmick-free experience of them and their music.


Though their set-up might be simple, the band managed to fill the arena with their passion for their music and their fans. Songs like “I Bet My Life,” “Hopeless Opus,” “Gold,” and “Friction” got the crowd feeding off the band’s infectious energy. Add to this the band’s knack for putting thoughtful lyrics against the backdrop of upbeat melodies and you’ve got an arena full of young adults singing along passionately to their personal anthems.


Among our favorites from that night was their electric performance of “Radioactive”. Sure, you can watch all the videos of this performance as much as you want but nothing compares to the way your heartbeat matches Dan’s live drumming as it reverberates throughout the MOA Arena — and don’t even get us started on the extended outro. That guitar shred? Duuude. Click here to see what we’re talking about.


In between songs like “Trouble” and their cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” Dan engaged the crowd with stories like growing up with a Filipino best friend, eating balut, and being told “Bobo ka ba?” (Are you dumb?) by his fellow bandmate. To the crowd’s delight, Dan accepted a Philippine flag from one of the audience members and held it up during a powerful performance of “The Fall.”


All in all, the experience crafted by the band for their Filipino fans is definitely one for the books, striking the perfect balance between performing and interacting with the crowd (though it’s safe to say that their music was more than enough to do the talking for them). Imagine Dragons proved that good music doesn’t need to hide behind smoke and mirrors.

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