08 May 2013

If you’ve ever doubted the power of music, watch the video below. Start at the 3:10 mark. It’s Imagine Dragons’ new video for “Demons,” but at the end, the rock group has tacked on footage of super fan Tyler Robinson and Imagine Dragons’ lead singer Dan Reynolds sharing a moment at a concert in the band’s hometown of Las Vegas while they sing “It’s Time” together.

At first, they’re facing each other with Reynolds’ hand on Robinson’s shoulder, but then, Reynolds moves in closer and cups the younger Robinson’s bald head in his palm, and leans in so close he and Robinson almost touch foreheads. In an arena full of people, it’s a startlingly intimate moment. Reynolds wrote the song that had moved Robinson to step outside of himself, leave any feelings of self consciousness behind, and be totally and fully in the moment of the music. In that second, that line between fan and artist completely disappears. Music always has the ability to heal something within us that is broken, even if, as Robinson's story shows, the relief is fleeting.

Robinson, 17, died of cancer earlier this year. Imagine Dragons dedicated the new video in his memory, adding that Tyler “inspired us with his courage as he battled cancer.” Robinson’s brother shot the footage of Tyler and Reynolds and the band added it to the end of “Demons.”  The band also encourages people to donate to the Tyler Robinson Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families with children fighting cancer. I feel like I’ve given to so many similar organizations this year so far, whether it be PabLove or the Adam Spector Foundation or The Stars Won’t Go Out.  They were all started by families who had lost a child to cancer. It’s too much, isn’t it?  With all the dollars that go to medical research, how can so many children still be dying of cancer. 

As heart wrenching as the footage of Robinson and Reynolds is, there’s something deeply, deeply heartwarming about it as well. It’s clear that as much joy as the band’s music gave Robinson, he gave the band members even something more special.

May 8: The Tyler Robinson Foundation

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