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Imagine Dragons, The Fray to Play Amnesty International’s ‘Bring Human Rights Home’ Show Tonight

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(Courtesy Interscope Records)

(Courtesy Interscope Records)

By Courtney E. Smith

Tonight (February 5) in Brooklyn, Amnesty International’s Bring Human Rights Home concert is expected to bring many bodies into Barclays Center. The eclectic bill will feature performances from Imagine Dragons, Lauryn Hill, The Fray, Colbie Caillat, Tegan & Sara, Blondie, the Flaming Lips, Cake, Yoko Ono and the Cold War Kids — with a special address from Pussy Riot, who will be introduced by their longtime champion Madonna and additional appearances from Sting, Peter Gabriel and Bob Geldof.

The organization, whose activist work for human rights worldwide has earned them a Nobel Peace Prize, was known for some time for its high profile concert events to bring attention to a variety of causes, abuses and investigations.

This will be the first Amnesty International show since 1998.

Radio.com spoke to Imagine Dragons and The Fray in advance of the event  to find out how their involvement in tonight’s show came about and what the cause of human rights means to them as artists.

“I think to be a part of it, not only because of [Amnesty Interational's] history, is incredible,” said Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds. “You have incredible people with you and they are doing incredible things to change the world and push the world forward. I feel like, especially as an artist, if you’re not doing something – it can be such a selfish career at times. I feel like you have to do something to feel okay about yourself as a human being. Even selfishly just being involved is great for us. We can feel like we’re giving back in some way.”

Related: Watch Pussy Riot Poke Fun at Putin on ‘Colbert’

Tonight’s show is to raise awareness around human rights issues in Russia specifically, which is why they’ve chosen to hold it the night before the Sochi Olympics being and how the activist group Pussy Riot got involved.

“Obviously it’s a huge deal and with the Olympics coming up, it’s a politically charged situation,” said Imagine Dragons drummer Daniel Platzman. “I’m not a political expert by any means, but I know that we all believe in Amnesty’s cause and being a part of it…As artists, freedom of speech is really important to all of us so I think that’s a cause we can all get behind.”

To have the members of Pussy Riot, who were jailed for 21 months after a protest performance in a Russian church, participate in the event means a great deal to Joe King, guitarist for The Fray.

“To me, [Pussy Riot] made me realize how apathetic I can get as an American,” King said. “You can get real critical or not do anything about what you think should change and just let things happen. They’re doing the opposite. They’re going public. They’re fighting and paying the price for it. It’s inspiring to see that. I think that, if anything, it motivates. It should motivate people to do something.”

Along with singer Isaac Slade, he recounted that the members of Pussy Riot had actually sent them a video card, thanking them for performing in support of Amnesty.

“[Amnesty International] are bringing justice to people who are trapped and voiceless, with no way out,” Slade said. “From behind barbed wire, behind prison lines, behind dictator regimes. Nobody is doing that as well as they are. Their logo, that candle, is the picture you get of people in the dark, holding on to it and hoping that somebody is going to come rescue them. It’s what they do.”

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