Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds | photo by Michelle Montgomery | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Las Vegas rockers Imagine Dragons released their debut single “It’s Time” in August 2012. The song almost immediately captured the attention of music fans around the globe with its percussion-heavy, melodically rich chorus. The song is from the band’s debut album, Night Visions, which, since its release in September, 2012, has become one of the biggest selling albums over the last several years anchored by the singles “Radioactive,” “On Top Of The World,” and “Demons.”
While the album received mixed reviews by critics, it’s been their fans that have helped Imagine Dragons win the rock and roll battle, commanding significant sales for the album and nearly several sold out tours of large venues and festivals since its release. Imagine Dragons are more than arena rock ready, and whether you like them or not, they’ve become an undeniably great stadium band.
The Dragons returned to the area on Friday night at the Susquehanna Bank Center for a sold out show that featured openers The Naked and The Famous and Nico Vega. The last time the Dragons played the area was at Made In America where their afternoon set was one of the festival’s highlights. At the Susquehanna Bank Center the band – featuring lead vocalist and percussionist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee and drummer Daniel Platzman – played a well paced, energetic, highly propulsive and percussive hour and 1/2 set of at the Susquehanna Bank Center.
While there may not be such a thing as a casual Imagine Dragons fan, the SBC was filled with the hardcore, who sang along and held onto almost every song the band performed from Night Visions. The band played a commendable cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” which nicely showed off drummer Platzman’s and guitarist’s Sermon’s musical proficiency. Amidst smoke canons, banks of of flashing lights, and surrounded by their now signature floor tom-tom drums and giant stand alone drums, the band played under a giant moon sized screen that projected images of burning suns, forests, oceans and visually stunning National Geographic styled images of the earth. The audience, a multi-generational mix of parents and their young kids, highschoolers dressed in Vampire Weekend, Odd Future t-shirts and Converse sneakers, and plenty of Bud light drinking young adults, all bonded over some of the most notable radio hit songs of the last two years.
Imagine Dragons | Photo by The Naked And Famous | www.michellemontgomeryphotography.com
Who We Are
Cha-Ching (Till We Grow Older)
Tom Sawyer (Rush cover)
On Top of the World
Bleeding Out/Monster/Nothin Left to Say
Photo by Adam Wallacavage Chandeliers via facebook.com/faroutfangtooth
Creepy semi-naked people, smoke-filled swamps, and pitchforks all play a part in Far-out Fangtooth‘s new “Admit It” video. Taken from their sophomore release Borrowed Time, the track is definitely haunting enough to accompany the old, disturbing film footage. Before heading down to SXSW, the band will play two local shows: tonight at The Station Bar And Grill and Sunday night at Lucky 13 Pub, both in South Philly. Get details for tonight’s show here and Sunday’s here.
This week on Unlocked, The Key got the full scoop on Counting Your Curses by Katie Frank & The Pheromones. It’s the debut full-length from the local roots rock outfit, and you can download a track from it called “Halfway Gone” below before checking out the full feature here.
Joe Kille is the subject of this week’s Folkadelphia Session. The fiddler for Morning River Band struck out on his own with a new record Arkadelphia, described by Fred Knittel as “a smart set of timeless sounding country-noir songs.” Check out some live-recorded tracks from the LP for yourself below.
Wilmington, DE musician Sarah Koon has teased the release of a forthcoming record by dropping a single called “Pretty Simple.” The cinematic, psych-leaning track screams summertime jam with Koon’s theatrical vocals and poppy piano playing. Download a copy below.
Local 90s staples Marah have returned with a special project formed around old songs found in a book called Mountain Minstrelsy of Pennsylvania. The new record reimagines the folk songs, which were collected by folklorist Henry Shoemaker in 1931. Check out a sampling of the songs here and download “Melody of Rain” below.
Philly art-rock outfit Auctioneer turn in a different direction for their new single “Hard to Believe It.” With a fluid bass and piano foundation, Craig Hendrix slips through shadows of Dawes, War on Drugs and Bruce Springsteen. Stream and download the track below.
It’s going to be a good night for new projects from the regional punk scene. At Boot And Saddle, the band Thrills – the side project of Vacationer’s Michael Mullen that we told you about last month – makes its debut appearance.
Also debuting is flyermile, a new three-piece featuring Steve Clifford of Circa Survive and Chris Weyh (formerly of A Life Once Lost and Killer Bangs), rounded out by bassist Jonathan Coleman (Chen City, Kate Faust). The band operates in a the trippy post-rock headspace we heard on Circa’s last album, Violent Waves, with tasty nods to Deftones’ White Pony and a touch of Explosions in the Sky drama. Download their debut single “End of Eve” below, and catch this trio’s very first live performance at 8. Tickets and info at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Mike Bell & the Movies | photo via www.facebook.com/itismovietime
Mike Bell & The Movies play The Fire tonight. The power pop / punk band out of Philadelphia (featuring members of Algernon Cadwallader and Dangerous Ponies) released a new record called Nothing Works a few weeks ago, following up their Stuck in a T.V. debut. Their sound is fast-paced and fun, crossing Weezer with Elvis Costello. Check out the LP below and get more information for tonight’s show here.
For this Indie Rock Hit Parade session, we welcome Milagres to the studio. The men of the Brooklyn-based band are hardly strangers; they visited us in 2011 while on tour for their last album, Glowing Mouth (on the day that a minor earthquake shook Philadelphia). Since then, Milagres’ lineup has undergone a few changes, resulting in the leaner sound on their new album, Violent Light (Kill Rock Stars). Still at the helm is singer/guitarist Kyle Wilson and bassist/producer Fraser McCulloch, who have crafted another set of tunes that fall squarely in the middle of Milagres’ preferred crossroads: lush and menacing. Longtime keyboardist Chris Brazee and newly indoctrinated drummer Paul Payabyab round out the quartet.
Those who recall the transition from Milagres’ independently released debut, Seven Summits, and Glowing Mouth might still find the band’s latest leap rather breathtaking. Even the pensive and introspective moments on Violent Light are underscored with a muscular bombast. For evidence, check out the stunning performance of “Terrifying Sea.” Milagres are also rocking much harder than ever before. Anchored by a bouncy synth line, “Jeweled Cave” gives way to one of Wilson’s most dynamic vocal turns. And it’s a wonder that Payabyab doesn’t go through drum kits like chewing gum, given how hard he hits on Violent Light‘s lead single, “The Letterbomb.”
Download the complete Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session with Milagres below!
Miniature Tigers | Photo by Rachel Barrish | rachelbarrish.com
Three scuzzy rock acts set up shop at a packed Boot & Saddle last Saturday evening. NYC based garage rock quartet, Total Slacker opened the show. Their fun punk rockyness and energetic vibe got the crowd movin’ just in time for the next act, Brooklyn’s Bear Hands. The crowd grew in size to watch the electronic indie pop group, catching the attention of fan girls standing up front gazing longingly at the band members. By the time the second headliner came on, Miniature Tigers, it was a mix of poppy exuberance and one dismayed crowd member who shouted “Sorry but Bear Hands is better!” Definitely not cool. The lead vocalist Charlie Brand though, didn’t let the member’s comment sway him from rockin’ out with the rest of the crowd, walking through people and handing off the microphone so they could sing along to the lyrics.