Twenty One Pilots wowed a sold-out crowd at the newly named Revention Music Center on Friday night. As for those few who weren’t in attendance, well, they missed one heck of a performance.
The simple duo, comprised of lead singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dunn, sound like a pair who couldn’t possibly bring so much excitement to a show. However, what they lack in quantity, they make up for with quality. The group has an impressive cult-like following that was prominent as the line to get into the venue wrapped around the entire building and then some even an hour before doors opened.
The crowd rushed to get into the venue to catch the first opening band, Finish Ticket, who were a late addition to the lineup. It’s difficult to find a perfect pairing for a band that performs the way Twenty One Pilots do, but the California natives put on an energetic show that proved they were a viable candidate for a tour like this. Although the crowd wasn’t familiar with the songs, they were engaged and swayed their arms, giving the openers a warm welcome.
However, there was a lull in the show as Echosmith took the stage. Their performance was impressive musically, but lacked the energy that was sparked by Finish Ticket and eventually carried out by Twenty One Pilots. The siblings are a talented group with a catchy discography, but their particular style just didn’t fit in with the rest of the lineup.
As it should be, the performance of the night belonged to Twenty One Pilots.
“Honest, there’s a few songs on this record that feel common
I’m in constant confrontation with what I want and what is poppin’
In the industry it seems to me that singles on the radio are currency
My creativity’s only free when I’m playing shows”
“Lane Boy” – Twenty One Pilots
The band wandered onto the stage sporting skeleton masks that hid their faces, already starting the show off in a creative way unique to Twenty One Pilots. These masks, along with ski masks and hazmat suits have become symbols the duo has adopted over the years in their performances, music videos and album artwork. The lights and LED panels, which were mostly red and blue to reflect the common colors of their album artwork, made sure to set the mood for each individual song in an artistic way.
The band performed almost their entire discography including an impressive medley of the songs they couldn’t quite fit into the 18-track setlist. However, by far the most exciting part of their show came towards the end, about 12 songs in. As “Holding Onto You” began, Tyler Joseph used their fans for support, having them hoist the singer into the air as he belted out the lyrics. The crowd interactions didn’t end there, though. During “Ride,” drummer Josh Dunn literally performed an entire song on top of the crowd. He whipped out a nifty drumset attached to a platform so that the crowd could hoist him over their heads.
The venue went dark during fan favorite “Car Radio,” and Joseph took advantage of a tall platform set up near the front of house equipment in the middle of the crowd. Joseph, who is known for climbing various structures and frequently jumping off of his own piano, took the crowd by surprise by climbing onto the platform about 20 feet in the air so that he became eye-level with the fans in the balcony as he performed the last verses of the song.
To close the show, the duo strayed from their usual instruments once again during “Trees” to pick up a couple of bass drums, and used the crowd for support as they performed a “drum duel” and confetti fell around them. Several fans left the show with smiles plastered across their faces, trying to hide their clear exhaustion after an eventful night.
The tour is like no other and is worth a ticket for Twenty One Pilots’ performance alone. If you get a chance, check out their upcoming performance at Austin City Limits on Oct. 10.
By Sarah Hoffman