Imagine Dragons urge Reading fans to leave burdens at the door

Imagine Dragons urged their fans to leave “politics and religion” along with “whatever is burdening” them at the door during Reading Festival.

Opening with My Life, Dan Reynolds sang ardently to the Little John’s farm audience as confetti hailed down amid blue and orange lights.

Before It’s Time, the 36-year-singer said: “Whatever is burdening you, leave it at the door; politics, religion, leave it. Free your mind. Feel what you need to feel; anger, peace, joy, grief.

“We’re here, we’ll do everything we possibly can, thank you for this incredible honour. Thank you for allowing us to be here…  (at) one of our favourite festivals. We will give you everything, I promise you that.”

The US pop rock band from Las Vegas have faced criticism ahead of a planned concert in Baku, Azerbaijan on September 2.

Serj Tankian, the frontman of heavy metal band System Of A Down, said he sent a letter to Imagine Dragons “urging them to reconsider playing their show in Azerbaijan as it would help whitewash” the leaders of the country.

MTV Video Music Awards – Las Vegas – Arrivals
Serj Tankia. (Suzan Moore/PA)

The Armenian-American musician said on Facebook that his letter, which referenced human rights issues in Azerbaijan, had no “response”.

There has been long-running tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, where a separatist war was fought in the early 1990s.

Several organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have criticised Azerbaijan’s human rights record.

At Reading, Reynolds dedicated his performance of Thunder to his children as he sang dressed in baggy shorts and no top.

The crowd jumped around and moved to the thumping music music as Impossible, Bad Liar and Radioactive were belted out by Reynolds.

Imagine Dragons also referenced Arcane: League Of Legends by contrasting colours on screen during Enemy- which they made for the animated series.

Reynolds also spoke about depression and the people he has lost ahead of singing Demons.

The 2021 MTV EMA awards – Budapest
Imagine Dragons (Ian West/PA)

He told the audience: “Who feels lost in their mind? Who feels numb? Who feels like it’s endless? You are not alone in that…

“There are so many, just like who have walked the road, just the same road and who feel the same thing that you feel, please do not be alone in it.

“Do not keep it to yourself, talk to your friends, talk to your family. If it’s available to you, please go and see a therapist. I have a therapist, for many years, this does not make you broken, this does not make you weak. It makes you wise.

“I promise you, you must stay with us, stay alive. Your life is always worth living, your life is always worth living.

“Too many friends who thought that their life is no longer worth living and it’s devastating (for) all of the people around us, please stay with us. Please, we need you, we need you, we need you. That’s it. Stay with us. That’s all.”