Experiencing a band for the first time live can sometimes make or break your opinion of them. Some bands are clearly overproduced in the studio to the point where they cannot reproduce their sound live, and others will shine and sound even better than any recording could ever capture. The latter could not be truer of Twenty One Pilots, the super dynamic piano pop-rock-rap duo of Columbus, Ohio.
To say these two were energetic on stage would be an understatement. Their electrifying set consisted of backflips off of pianos, playing the drum set whilst crowdsurfing (proof in the pictures!), and countless wardrobe changes that ranged from floral print kimonos to skeleton onesies. With Tyler Joseph on the vocals and keyboards, he commanded the stage with his huge presence and delivered the lyrics with such conviction that made it difficult for anyone to not want to sing and dance along. The other half of Twenty One Pilots, Josh Dun, keeps the party going and holds down solid beats with an intense Travis Barker meets Beastie Boys vibe. There was never a point in the show where the quality of sound was compromised due to the hyperactive nature of their performance, and that is quite the statement considering there are only two band members.
Along with fan favorites such as “Car Radio,” “Holding Onto You,” “Truce,” and “Fall Away,” the duo graced the crowd with Twenty One Pilots-infused covers. Now when it comes to covers, I believe you should be able to perform it better than the original or bring a whole new perspective to the song. This was exactly the case for their ukulele-dance-rock version of “Brown Eyed Girl” (Van Morrison) and EDM-inspired version of “Time to Say Goodbye” (Andrea Bocelli – yeah, the opera singer… and they totally pulled it off!).
As the duo closed the show with a crowdsurfing drum break (yes, it really happened), I couldn’t help but notice the joy and excitement spread throughout the crowd. As a frequent concert goer, I take a lot of pride in the Seattle crowd’s ability to perform incredibly in-tune crowd vocals and show appreciation to the artists after (and during) every song. You could definitely tell that the band was receptive to it, and this magical moment shared through music is truly something you can only get from a great live show.
You can check out music, purchase a CD, or buy concert tickets for Twenty One Pilots here. Check out photos from the show below. All photos by Amanda Tran.
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