Written By: Maddy Young and Taylor Chevalier
Photography By: Larry Young
Twenty One Pilots, a Columbus, Ohio base band, has certainly had a big year. Their current Emotional Roadshow World Tour is no exception. In just over four short years this funk/rap/electronica/rock duo that is Twenty One Pilots has exploded from a college dorm experiment to gracing the stages of everything from late night television to the MTV Movie Awards. It’s hard to put a finger on the style of this ultra-energetic duo made up of drummer Josh Dun and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph, but see them in concert and it is clear that they will leave bodies in their metaphorical wake.
In terms of new pop bands, there may not be a hotter group touring this summer than Twenty One Pilots. At its core the band is a piano-driven duo featuring vocalist/keyboardist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, encapsulates today’s musical ADD world with a sound that draws equally from pop, EDM, reggae and hip-hop.
In other words, it’s one big Twenty One Pilots stew and fans can’t get enough. This is Twenty One Pilots first foray into playing arenas. Last Friday nights show took place at the Allen Event Center in Allen Texas holding close to 4,000+ fans.
Tyler Joseph mastermind behind the lyrics, brought an interesting dynamic with his only other band mate, Josh Dun. Together the two put together an interesting show full of surprises at each turn. One example of such a surprise, Tyler disappeared from the stage and ends up on the other side of the arena, magic to the unsuspecting guests.
The first half of the show revolved around the BLURRYFACE album. The last two Twenty One Pilots records were concept albums contains it’s own set of characters and costumes. The most distinctive character is BLURRYFACE from the BLURRYFACE album. To demonstrate this idea, Joseph paints his hands and neck black, a symbol of the characters. The second half of the show highlighted the Ohioan’s third album…VESSEL. VESSEL is a mix of up-tempo beats and happy rhythms made the serious lyrics something you could dance to.
As the show went on the stage antics became crazier. At one point, both boys went to the center of the arena to play a medley of old songs people had been dying to hear. They brought back their opening act onto stage to play covers of the Beatles (Twist and Shout), House of Pain (Jump Around) and Celine Dion (My Heart Goes On Forever) along with other familiar artists. The lead singer led the crowd in an almost cultic wave of motion as he stood on a beam in the middle of the arena. The night ended with them standing on a platform held up by the crowd drumming to their final song, Trees.
Concertgoers experienced a band full of confidence catering to a rabid audience — some of which wearing Twenty One Pilots’ facial makeup — that roughly a decade ago would have been way into the EMO lifestyle perpetuated by My Chemical Romance.
Undoubtedly, the future appears bright for Twenty One Pilots. In a time where music seems so artificial, the twosome transcends the scene with old-fashioned charisma and authenticity. For those who are stressed out, Twenty One Pilots provides a stress-free and memorable show.
We have to give the opening act, New Orleans’ own Mutemath they’re own spotlight. Mutemath have been around since 2003, and their experience shows. If you’re not familiar with their style, think Alt-J vocals and 1975 ambience, plus a healthy dose of guitar shredding. From the power and production levels these guys harnessed in their performance, by the end of their slot it felt like we’d just seen a headliner. They are that good.