Tonight I have fallen into the trap of Brisbane traffic. That glorious wonderful Brisbane traffic. This leaving me running late and missing the start of tonight’s support act, The Temper Trap from Melbourne. I drop my camera bag, obviously having missed photographing them, (so apologies for the lack of Temper Trap images), and I race to my seat to catch as much as I can.
The Entertainment Centre is absolutely packed tonight, having been almost sold out. There are long lines to get to anywhere. I finally get to my seat and The Temper Trap are well into bringing the house down. This is my first real Temper Trap experience, having only really heard ‘Trembling Hands’ from their 2013 self titled release, a song that I have actually really enjoyed since first hearing it. These guys blew me away. Even though a lot of their songs do follow a simple and generic structure, they were flowing into these incredible prog rock segments with proper distorted bass riffs, using the entire fret board. Guitars that whaled over the crowd saturated in reverb and the drums perfectly blending it all together. Sitting there listening to this, the only two comparisons I had to refer to were Pink Floyd meets Karnivool, something I really wasn’t expecting from these guys.
I don’t know if this is something that is present on their albums and I really wish I could tell you, but I can tell you that it blew me away seeing them do it live. The guys finish up their set with their biggest hit to date ‘Sweet Disposition’. The crowd go wild as soon as the U2 inspired guitar riff starts to blare over the speakers.
The crowd is feeling pretty relaxed leading into the main act while pieces of classical music are gently streamed across the arena. The lights come down and videos and speeches on evolution and other subjects are shown on the back screens. The Imagine Dragons four-piece make their way to the stage, evenly spread out in a straight line across the stage, each their own coloured beam of light striking down on them as the start of ‘I Don’t Know Why’ begins. Lights go up and vocalist Dan Reynolds is out on his catwalk in seconds. Reynolds shows here why he is such a great front man. He interacts with the crowd more than anyone I’ve seen and his moves are impeccable. ‘I Don’t Know Why’ ends with a giant display of blue confetti, covering the stage and immediate crowd, leaving Dan and guitarist Wayne to begin a gentle rendition of ‘Believer’ that eventually leads into the album version, with that ever gut shaking bass drop at the start.
The rest of the show is crammed with every hit single they have ever released and even more. Showcasing their latest album ‘Evolve’ tonight, fans get to hear some of their favourite tracks for the first time. As they play ‘Yesterday’ the screens behind play nostalgic videos of the band and each member playing music as a child. Showing the crowd how far they have come and possibly an attempt to send the message that everyone starts somewhere.
Reynolds takes a moment alone on stage to talk to the crowd about a serious issue. He openly talks about his battle with depression and his goal is clearly to make sure everyone in the crowd who is in the same boat, that they too are not alone. A touching speech ending with “Your life is worth living”. The crowd roar with love and they play their own rendition of Bob Marleys ‘Three Little Birds’.
Leaving the stage to a smaller stage situated a the back of the room where cellos, violins, a piano and a double bass as well as acoustic guitars are present. Spending three songs here playing acoustic versions of ‘Next To Me’, ‘Bleeding Out’ and ‘I Bet My Life’. This short time just shows how talented each member of the band is, with the drummer even taking to the violin.
Making their way back, they begin the tail end of their set with ‘Thunder’ which has perfectly timed smoke canons that hit the catchy three count beat through out the chorus. After ‘Walking The Wire’ the boys with one song left, trail into the beautiful acoustic beginnings of ‘Radioactive’ sending the crowd into the loudest applause we hear all night. The crowd trail out of the arena, leaving with their happiest memories and probably the most confetti that place will ever see. Seriously.
Images © Dan Maynard