It comes as no surprise to witness that Imagine Dragons’ Smoke + Mirrors Philippine tour involves plenty of actual smoke and mirrors.
But, incorporating a stunning majestic light display and a dynamic bunch of musicians tranforms into an explosive, remarkable two-hour show.
MORE THAN SMOKE AND MIRRORS. The Grammy award-winning band Imagine Dragons recently performed for thousands of Filipino fans at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Vocalist Dan Reynolds, bassist Ben McKee, guitarist Daniel Wayne Sermon and drummer Daniel Platzman, unloaded song after song, kicking off the show with “Shots” and ending 16 tunes later with their encore, “The Fall.”
With heavy and phenomenal drumming, rhythm and groove, the Las Vegas-based rock band put through the spectacle anchored by Reynolds, who periodically pounded away on a standalone drum for his pleasure—and to the enjoyment of fascinated fans.
The high energy in the arena was evident as the multi-platinum rock band introduced the more acoustic-driven “Trouble” and followed that up with a sing-along to “It’s Time”—the first of many sing-alongs to happen.
The Dragons also took fans down memory lane via a haunting and beautiful rendition of Alphaville's “Forever Young” that truly highlighted Reynolds’ voice.
Dan Reynolds’ revelation on the first Filipino phrase that he learned from his two brothers, “Bobo ka ba?” elicited hearty laughter from entertained Pinoy fans.
Laughing, he remarked, “Why would they even say that, right?”
It turned out Reynolds’ two brothers lived in the Philippines for some time, which is why he is familiar with the culture of this Asian country.
Connecting to his fans, Reynolds became quite emotional sharing some personal things about his life, which made the crowd completely engaged and so enthralled with him.
“Two of my brothers, Paul and Brandon, lived here [during mission trips]. They’ve always told me how wonderful the Filipino people are. They are the most loving, kind and humble. They fell in love with the people here and they talked about you ever since I was very young,” said Reynolds.
The Imagine Dragons vocalist then serenaded audiences with two of the most anticipated songs of the nights, “Polaroid” and “Gold.”
He also revealed, “In middle school when I was 12, my best friend in the entire world is Filipino. He just moved from the Philippines to the States. He’s someone I think about all the time. And somebody that I learned very quickly that Filipino people are some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet. Very laid back. He always was happy every single day that I knew him.”
He continued, “I know that we’ve only been here for one day. But the way that we’ve been treated from the people here has spoken so much to us."
The band made the most of their visit by trying out local delicacies in the Philippines.
"We went out last night. We ate balut. It was pretty good,” Reynolds said, laughing.
Endearing and genuine, Imagine Dragons kept their Manila fans captive with a tight and solid set all night long.
By the time “On Top of the World” and “Friction” had been played, die-hard fans were getting animated to hear the band’s biggest anthem.
And so the very minute the opening chords and the obvious “oooh’s” began, everyone knew it was time for the song that started it all, "Radioactive.”
The 9x-Platinum song (which set the Billboard Hot 100 on fire and stayed there, for a record number of 87 weeks), and has earned the band a 2014 Grammy for “Best Rock Performance,” was everything you would hope it to be—intense, resonating, filled of loud drums and full of energy—and featuring tons of lasers.
The true and genuine appeal of Imagine Dragons lies within their “we are just a group of four modest guys” humble persona.
It’s nearly impossible to see them anything but charming when over and over again within the first 30 minutes of the show, Reynolds emphasized how grateful they are to be performing live in Manila.
“I wanna say thank you for receiving us, for being so wonderful to us. This may be our first time here, but I promise you we will be here time and time again,” shared Reynolds before uplifting the crowd one last time.
Throughout the whole show, it’s apparent that Dan Reynolds and his bandmates are genuine, and it’s something that makes them easy to connect with as live performers.
There are quite a few bands you want to always hit it big time.
Imagine Dragons is without a doubt one of them.
You root for them to do extremely well, and they certainly did that on an epic Thursday night in Manila.
Here is the full setlist of Imagine Dragons’ Smoke + Mirrors concert in the Philippines:
3. “It's Time”
4. “Forever Young” (Alphaville cover)
5. “Smoke and Mirrors”
7. “I'm So Sorry”
11. “Hopeless Opus”
13. “On Top of the World”
15. “I Bet My Life”
17. “The Fall” (Encore)
(To view photos during the Manila concert of Imagine Dragons, CLICK HERE)