Last time we saw Imagine Dragons was almost exactly two years ago, also at the Ziggo Dome. We did things a little differently this time!
The concert was on a Monday evening, and Alex and Fiona both had school the next day. Also, we had general admission/floor tickets rather than tickets for seating. According to the venue schedule, doors were due to open at 18:30, with opening act K.Flay on from 20:00 – 20:30, with Imagine Dragons themselves on from 21:00 – 23:00. With standing room tickets, there was no way we’d be anywhere near the front of the stage unless we got there by mid-afternoon, and that just wasn’t going to happen. We like the band, but not enough to spend eight hours on our feet. So: strategic concert planning!
Having been to the Ziggo Dome many times before, and knowing that the band are experienced stadium rockers, we knew there was going to be a significant light show with multiple huge video screens behind the stage. Even the good seats at Ziggo Dome put you further away from the artists than the worst standing room at the back of most small venues. This means that unless you’re deliberately chasing the thick-of-the-crowd experience, there is very little difference between a spot half-way to the stage and a spot quite far near the back. In fact, the edge of the crowd makes it easier for you to escape the auditorium if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all (Fiona), or if you want to be first in line at the merch stand at the end of the show (me).
Our plan therefore was: skip the opening act entirely. Eat a leisurely dinner at home, and leave around 20:00 to arrive at Arena around 20:30. Park at site P1 (we had a pre-booked parking voucher). Get to the venue around 20:45, giving us enough time to clear security, see what kind of merch was available (plenty), grab a drink, and find a nice spot at the edge of the crowd. Then as soon as the last song faded out, make our sharp exit. This worked out great, and we were back home shortly before midnight.
The gig itself was fun. The band sounded great, the light show was good, and there were confetti cannons and giant balloons dropping from the ceiling. Before the gig I had looked at Setlist.fm to get a feel for what we could expect, and I noticed that at their previous two concerts, they had played a selection of songs from a B-stage. The Ziggo Dome has plenty of space for them to do this as well, and I’ve seen other artists do it. (Most spectacularly Taylor Swift with a second stage that rose up and swung around the whole interior of the space.) Sure enough, about two-thirds of the way through the band made their way to a small stage near the back of the hall and played slowed-down acoustic versions of three songs out there. This was pretty close to where we had positioned ourselves, so we got a great view for this part of the show.
- I Don’t Know Why
- It’s Time
- Whatever It Takes
- I’ll Make It Up To You
- Mouth Of The River
- Start Over
- Rise Up
- On Top Of The World
- I Bet My Life (acoustic, B-stage)
- Amsterdam (acoustic, B-stage)
- Bleeding Out (acoustic, B-stage)
- Thunder (with K.Flay)
- Walking The Wire
- 1 slow vocal verse from “The Fall” + 1 slow vocal verse from “Polaroid” as a final intro to and extended version of: Radioactive