To kick of their first studio release in three years (their fifth overall), the Imagine Dragons delivered a 60-minute sneak-peak acoustic show and Q&A session, with a limited live audience and simultaneous open livestream via Amazon Live, presented by Amazon Music.
Eager fans were treated to an overall chilled out, regenerative vibe in this intimate interactive – with the small live crowd captivated by every note. The Dragons covered five tracks from their new record, including “Easy Come, Easy Go,” opening the show with acoustic guitar, drum brushes and gentle falsetto vocal harmonies. Relaxed-feeling “It’s Okay” followed, with a laid-back guitar solo from Wayne Sermon, and cajon-like hand drumming on the snare by Daniel Platzman. A stripped-down version of “Follow You” included a gentle guitar-piano intro, and “Wrecked” returned to harmonized falsetto vocals touching on the melancholy cycle of grief, this time with tambourine, guitar and drum rimshots holding the track down.
The surprise of the evening was “One Day” – the last song of the record – which front man, Dan Reynolds has been singing to his young song at bedtime for years. With a reggae ska vibe and syncopated vocals over acoustic guitar, tambourine and light keys, accompanied by gentle backing vocal harmonies, the song leaves you with a sense of beachside, blissed out relaxation.
Intermittent Q&A segments included questions from an international audience reaching as far as Japan, Brazil, France – and Bosnia, as online audience members tuned in at all hours of the day and night in their respective time zones. Reynolds admitted feeling more comfortable sharing himself through songwriting as a form of self-expression rather than speaking, and touted the merits of therapy to help him navigate strange times. He admitted that this has been the most nerve-racking record yet and revealed details of working with legendary producer Rick Rubin on the latest project, sharing that Rubin pushed him to explain every word of the lyrics, and had the band strip things back to bare acoustics in order to get as raw and vulnerable as possible – and to push the level of production even further.
Having sold 77.5 million US singles and over 20 million albums worldwide, Mercury – Act 1 is the band’s first album after taking time to recharge on the heels of a ten-year stretch of heavy touring, and navigates themes around loss and grief, and the finality – and celebration – of life. The streaming performance gave a preview of their new material ahead of their next tour, which kicks off in February.
You can catch Reynolds as a guest on Amazon Music’s Top Pop Station on “All Hits,” in DJ Mode (an on-demand listening experience that combines the personal aspect of streaming with the feel of DJ-hosted radio, now also accessible through Alexa) sharing behind-the-scenes details of the making of Mercury – Act 1, including more about working with Rubin, the band’s neighbors, and being a question on Jeopardy.
To keep up with Imagine Dragons, you can find them online at:
For more about Amazon Music Live and DJ Mode Programs (now available on Rap Rotation Radio, Country Heat Radio and artist-led DJ Mode), check out:
Photo Credit: Julia Pagano