Words and Rhythm: Why Imagine Dragons Rocks the House

Amazing books and killer concerts.

Both leave you immensely satisfied, yet wanting more, right? (I would have said with a smile on your face, but sometimes books make you sad too–like the last Harry Potter book. And that’s cool too. Still an epic and very satisfying read, no doubt about it.)

The question is WHY?  There’s no right answer (thank goodness!), but I think it’s because the best books and the best concerts are  lyrical, perfectly paced, and FULL OF FEELS.

I’ve rambled before about the connection of tunes and words to kick-butt storytelling. That post is here.

For me, it’s SO connected. Songs have a rhythm that touches you. Likewise, all writing has a cadence. And the best writing? It has a cadence that’s effortless for the reader; it pulls the reader into the story and never lets go until the last word has been read. It’s VOICE. I love those kind of books, don’t you?  Laini Taylor, Maggie Stiefvater, and John Green are just a few of those writers whose prose flows like the best rock stars ever. (It’s probably why they are literary rock stars too!) But back to the tunes!

Great artists pull listeners in, just like writers do. The hottest musicians of every decade have that special something. Right now, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney rock the house with their storytelling and rhythm every time. Same for Jack Johnson, AWOLNATION, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake . . .etc.  Sometimes the rhythm takes precedence, then gives way to the lyrics, sometimes it’s the other way around, but at some point it all comes together for the listener and makes the listener FEEL. And that’s what sells records. (Same for readers, and books.)

A band I saw recently nails the perfect blend IN EVERY SONG, and then does it again in concert form. I’m talking about Imagine Dragons. Yes, that Imagine Dragons, the fan-freaking-tastic rock band from Las Vegas fronted by lead singer Dan Reynolds.  They are lyrical and melodic masters, and IMHO, they deserve all the praise they’ve received in recent years–and then some.

I saw them live last May in St. Augustine. . . .and oh my word, THEY WERE AWESOME.


The playlist was perfectly paced, as was each individual song.

I don’t have the set list for the St. Augustine show, but to give you a feel for the concert, here’s the setlist for the recent (Aug. 20) Imagine Dragons concert in Dublin, Ireland:


Round and Round



Hear Me

Cha-Ching (Till We Get Older)


It’s Time

30 Lives

Bleeding Out


Three Little Birds (a Bob Marley cover–they didn’t play this in FL)

Hang Me Up To Dry/ Stand By Me (OMG, when they played Stand By Me in Fl, it was AMAZING)


On Top Of The World


Nothing Left To Say

The energy of the concert built and peaked like a book perfectly paced, and when it was over, I totally felt like I got my money’s worth and them some. And I’d LOVE to see them again; they were that amazing!!!  (On a side note, the lead singer was humble and kind and kept thanking the audience. And he–and the whole band–looked like they were having the time of their lives. <33333333!)

So add an Imagine Dragons song to your writing playlist like Megan suggested, or just go give them a listen to get some feels. 🙂

What do you think about words and rhythm? What popular (or not yet known) musician or band do you think has it all going on? What writer has a cadence that pulls you in every time?

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