Song of the Day – “Rise Up” by Imagine Dragons

October 15, 2017

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I love Imagine Dragons! Their music is amazing and their songs are genuine. They are one of my favorite bands.

The first time I saw them live was in February of 2013 on the Night Visions tour after the release of their first full-album of the same name. At the time, they were much smaller than they are today and my son and I went to see them at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. The concert still ranks up there as one of my favorites. They had this gigantic drum on the stage and it was just an incredible live performance.

2013 – Night Visions Tour        2017 – Evolve Tour

On Friday night, my son and I went to see them again on the Evolve tour in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was another amazing live performance, but the crowd was significantly larger! They have morphed into a hugely successful band and I am thrilled for them and still love their authentic music. (Even crazier to me is how grown up … and handsome! … my son has become!)

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The massive crowd at USANA Amphitheatre on Friday night giving some love to   Imagine Dragons during the song “Demons.” Dan Reynolds gave his personal account of the song being written based on his struggle with depression. 

Las Vegas-based Imagine Dragons consists of frontman Dan Reynolds, along with guitarist Wayne Sermon, bassist Ben McKee, and drummer Daniel Platzman. The group got their start in Provo, Utah when Dan Reynolds was attending Brigham Young University (BYU). I think Dan Reynolds is the bomb!

Today’s song, “Rise Up,” is from their new album – Evolve. This is just an all around great song. The lyrics just sing to me and the music is anthemic! I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

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SONG OF THE DAY – “TWENTY YEARS” by Augustana

February 11, 2014

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Music is amazing. There is nothing that stirs emotion like a song. This is totally one of those songs for me – I love the music and totally feel the lyrics.

I absolutely love Augustana! They are not a new band and, in fact, were formed in 2002 at Greenville College in Illinois. Hopefully, if you are not familiar with them, I am introducing you to something wonderful and, if you are already familiar with Augustana, here is another song you should add to your playlist.

I have been wanting to post a song from Augustana to this blog for some time, but just had not gotten to it yet. Today an announcement came out on Facebook that indicated to me it was the perfect day to share. Augustana just signed to Washington Square Music for a multi-album deal with a new album to be released in April. Along with this announcement, new tour dates beginning in April were also announced. Hooray!

I saw Augustana live just last year in January 2013 at the House of Blues in Dallas, Texas. It was a unique show because it was just Dan Layus and his guitar. The “band” itself broke up in 2011, but Layus continued playing music and carried the band name forward; Dan Layus essentially became “Augustana.” On the night I saw him, he just came out onto the stage with his guitar, didn’t say much of anything to the crowd, and then proceeded to play music straight for the next 2 hours! He was incredible and the audience was not only mesmerized, but sang along to every song. I could not say that he was an “entertaining” live performer in the sense of chatting it up with the audience, but he did not disappoint on the musical front. I enjoyed every minute of that intimate performance and look forward to seeing him again.

Dan Layus is the lead singer and songwriter of Augustana and the original founder of the band. There have been many changes and challenges over the years, but the one thing that has stood the test of time is the amazing music that Augustana produces. The music is incredibly heartfelt with a rootsy-rock feel, and it just bleeds emotion. Seeing him live, I would have to say that he is probably the picture of the “tortured artist.” He is incredibly passionate and just seemed to feel every note and word of every song.

If you find that you love this song, you may realize that you know other music by Augustana. I took a friend with me to the concert and when I originally asked her to accompany me, she said that she did not know the band. I asked her if she knew the song “Boston” and had her look it up on Spotify. She said, “Oh … I know that song. Wasn’t that on Scrubs?” 🙂 She was able to attend the concert knowing one song, but she left a fan. “Boston” is my very favorite song by Augustana, but there are so many to love, including “Twenty Years.” Another day of great music!

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SONG OF THE DAY – “WORLD I USED TO KNOW” by Ryan Star

January 14, 2013

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Today I am posting a song by one of my favorite musicians. Ryan Star is a true artist and I find his music just incredibly beautiful, unique, and full of some of the most intense emotion that I have ever heard.

Ryan is from Brooklyn, New York and is performing tonight in NYC for his new album release “party.” Luckily, I get to see him at a private show in the city on Thursday night. I have been waiting months for this performance and I am incredibly excited to see him perform in a very intimate setting.

I saw Ryan Star live in concert in February 2012 at The House of Blues in Dallas when he was touring with Andy Grammer. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to meet him and spend a few minutes chatting. He is one of the nicest guys I have had the pleasure to meet.

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I truly love this song off his new album. The album, Angels + Animals, was just released yesterday and it is a great album with a very personal story and emotionally raw. In an interview with inTouch magazine, Ryan said this about the autographical nature of the album, “I gave only the most raw, most honest version of myself on this record. It’s primal in that sense. It starts with an apology and takes us on a man’s journey to become his best self for the woman he lives for. We are all a bit angel and a bit animal, we do the best we can.”

With this album, Ryan broke from his big recording label and turned to his fans to help fund production of the album with Pledge Music. It is a credit to him that he reached – and then exceeded – 100% of his goal with the support of his faithful fans (of which I am one!).

I hope you enjoy this song, but if you are not familiar with his music, I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to explore his songs. You will probably find a song or two that you might have heard before, but did not realize was him, and you will definitely find some music that you will love. I literally like nearly all of his music so it is hard for me to pick just a few to recommend, but I would suggest “Last Train Home,” “Stay Awhile,” “Losing Your Memory,” “Breathe” and “Start A Fire.” I told you it would be hard for me to pick just a few – believe me there are more I could list. 😉

I will definitely post some more photos of the event on Thursday night and will hopefully have a few interesting tidbits to share about Ryan himself.

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