Dan Reynolds, the vocalist of Imagine Dragons, grabbing the attention of the audience at the catwalk of the stage at Helsinki Arena in Helsinki, Finland on January 27 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today Imagine Dragons, the American rock band from Las Vegas, is known for reaching top positions in the charts and winning an occasional Grammy with their massive and catchy songs. “Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa . . . I’m radioactive, radioactive.” Even if you would’ve been living under the rock, chances are still propitious that you’ve heard “Radioactive,” “the biggest rock hit of the year,” as labelled by Rolling Stone in 2013. At Helsinki Arena on Wednesday evening, over 10,000 fans were screaming and jumping to the Dragons’ thundering sound that mixes anything from gospel to rap and from rock to folk, for an intensive hour and about fifteen minutes. The band opened with an upbeat tune “Shots.” They followed with “Trouble,” a keyboard-heavy tune with a happy thumping bass drum, a song about redemption and living on the road. Daniel Wayne Sermon, the guitarist, is proficient with mandolin and percussion, too. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today “It’s Time” took over with guitarist Daniel Wayne Sermon’s mandolin-driven (he is a multi-instrumentalist like the other members) atmospheric melody and the crowd loved to sing the chorus: “It’s time to begin, isn’t it? / I get a little bit bigger but then I’ll admit / I’m just the same as I was / Now don’t you understand that I’m never changing who I am.” Dan complimenting the audience. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today Vocalist Dan Reynolds thanked the audience and “was happy to see so many people at their first big concert” in Helsinki. The band’s first visit in Finland was in 2013 at Ilosaarirock in Joensuu. The band went into a couple of slow songs, “Roots” and “Polaroid” with the latter taking a moment for soul searching: “Love is a polaroid / Better in picture / But never can fill the void . . . . ” William F. Wells, a touring keyboard player of the band, plays various guitars and sings backing vocals as well. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today “I’m So Sorry” amped up the crowd with strong hard-rock feel, a heavy beat, dominating distortion and keyboard effects – Lenny Kravitz meets Coldplay. “Gold” reminded us of false and real: “Only at first did it have its appeal, but now you can’t tell the false from the real . . . .” Some of the audience requesting more material from the Dragons’ first album, ‘Night Visions’. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today The Dragons’ tuned into a serious crowd-pleaser: “Demons.” The spectators swayed their hands from side to side and sang and screamed. When you feel my heat Look into my eyes It’s where my demons hide It’s where my demons hide Wet eyes. Teardrops. Screaming. Don’t get too close It’s dark inside It’s where my demons hide It’s where my demons hide Dan approaching the screaming fans. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today A popular happy chappy tune followed with the uplifting beat of folkish handclaps, “On Top of the World.” Those seated, celebrated the final three songs standing. With “I Bet My Life” Imagine Dragons’ massive sound and laser lights breathed life into every corner of the arena. Ben McKee, fingering the bass. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today After laying the foundations for the high energy and beating pulse, it was time for “Radioactive.” The band left the stage but the crowd started thumping, clapping and screaming. An encore followed, “The Fall.” It’s a slow tune with a melodic guitar riff. Do you know? Do you know? You’re all I know You’re all I know When everything Comes crashing down You’re all I know You’re all I know Dan pouring his heart out. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today A few minutes into the song, the beat slowed down before the bridge and Reynolds shouted: “We love you, Finland!” Such a display of affection can deliver nothing but high-pitched cheers and vicious clapping. The final minute of the song; a laser light climax, which erupted like a volcano. Dan working the audience. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today “I am seriously blown away by how amazing the fan reaction has been on this tour, thank you everyone!!” the drummer, Daniel Platzman, said later on Twitter. Imagine Dragons started their tour this year (the final leg of their Smoke + Mirrors tour, started in 2015) from Luxembourg on January 14 and have ever since rocked packed arenas from Budapest to Moscow, and now Finland and from here to Tallinn and forward. Imagine Dragons have been playing for full arenas in Europe and Russia since the beginning of 2016. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today It’s an amazing achievement that with only two albums under their belt (Night Visions (2012) and Smoke + Mirrors (2015)), Imagine Dragons is considered one of the most popular contemporary pop rock bands. Maybe it’s the fans authentic respect for the humble beginnings and talent. In 2011, the band was still playing covers in six-hour shows at half-empty clubs in Las Vegas – the Cars, the Cure, U2 and so on. Then they met producer Alex Da Kid, the man known for his work with Eminem and Nicki Minaj. After an email from Alex that said something like “Yo, I dig your songs. Hit me up,” the band started producing songs together and were signed with Interscope. The fans leaving Helsinki Arena were praising the Dragons’ performance excitedly. Many were thrilled by the even ratio of songs between the albums. “I was really happy that they played many songs from Night Vision as well,” said one girl in her 20s. “The length of the concert was perfect and the sound was good,” said Jan, 18. “I was really missing one song,” I said. “‘Battle Cry’ from the 2014 blockbuster, Transformers: Age of Extinction.” “Oh . . . Yeah . . . ,” said Jan. His friends, Juuso, 17, and Victoria, 18, were seemingly searching the mental vaults if the movie or the song would ring a bell. “They also did this song from Paris,” said Juuso, referring to the Dragons’ campaign song released on the internet in response to the November 13 attacks in Paris, “I Love You All the Time.” The song is a cover of Eagles of Death Metal, the American rock band, who were performing while the audience was attacked by the terrorists. “I was really hoping they would have played that,” said Juuso. A Russian couple in their 20s, who had moved to Finland from St. Petersburg, didn’t feel homesick even though the band had played in their hometown on Tuesday. They, however, had a different opinion of when the climax, the musical orgasm was reached. For the man it was during the last song “The Fall.” The lady, however, enjoyed the catharsis a bit earlier during “Demons.” “Basically, we loved everything,” they finally said while picking their jackets from the coatroom. Imagine Dragons’ setlist in Helsinki, Finland on January 27 Intro / Shots Trouble It’s Time Forever Young Roots Polaroid I’m So Sorry Gold Demons On Top of the World I Bet My Life Radioactive The Fall GET OUR PREMIUM NEWSLETTER One Time Payment Join us €39.95 EUR For more information about the benefits of a Premium Membership and other payment options, visit here.