Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons told the crowd about a dark place he was in once. Grey, I think he called it. When the depression and anxiety flanked him and he didn’t want to get help because getting help was weak. A voice floated out from the back of the arena, “Tell someone who cares!”
The crowd furiously ignored the dick who didn’t get it.
We all furiously cared at that moment as we watched this talented specimen of a human (in non-rock-star shorts and a white singlet) say how therapy was the best thing. And how it wasn’t weak, it took courage.
I watched three teenage boys at the front with their arms locked around each other’s necks fist pumping, totally gripped, as Dan roared ‘/Just a young gun with a quick fuse…. I was uptight/wanna let loose/not a yes sir/not a follower/I was lightning/before the thunder…/’
Then he leapt from the stage to the speaker and we all held our breath as the security guard gripped the base of it but this lead singer was never going to fall. Pumped, he was flinging his body all over the stage singing… ‘/feeling the adrenaline run through my veins/’ as we yelled with him.
We were all bewitched by this guy who’s masculine AF yet talks about love and pain. And he knows pain. He’s suffered from Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) for ten years, an inflammatory disease which apparently feels like somebody’s drilling into your bones.
There was no sign of anything drilling into him except our eyeballs. Especially once he took that singlet off.
This guy understands suffering and he sings about it and nobody calls it weak. When he sang ‘Pain’ smokes of cloud billowed up on stage like a geyser and the power of the words ripped through our collective bones… ‘/Pain, pain/You made me a believer/Pain, pain/You break me down, you build me up, believer, believer/’
The name ‘Imagine Dragons’ may be naff but there’s nothing naff about their performance.
Dan managed to talk about the devastation of too many guns in America and it wasn’t preachy or out-of-place. “It’s not about politics! This is bigger than politics, this is about human decency!” ‘WHATEVER IT TAKES‘ he bellowed out and we all agreed.
WHATEVER IT TAKES Dan, if you’re singing about it shirtless (did I mention that?)
Somehow, he also mentioned suicide in between songs but the dick at the back was no longer yelling out “who cares?”
Dan told us he made it through the grey and that every life deserves to, then belted out ‘Rise Up’ … ‘/but I would always open the door, look for higher floors/’ and we all rose up with him. In the church of Dan.
Holy freaking smoke, now here’s a rock star. Vulnerable as fuck and fucking awesome.
I like it when rock stars don’t feel like they need to dress like rock stars.
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You know what an incredible writer you are, right? I feel like I’ve just notched up on the cool scale just reading this. And that’s not something I feel very often these days as I skid uncontrollably toward 50! So thank you. He sounds like the perfect role model for the modern man. I want to take my son to see him too!
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Oh thank you Emma. I think I have an (honourable) crush on Dan and next time I’m taking my son. xx
Wow I didn’t know that