The only way to describe a Twenty One Pilots concert is a full spectacle. Anything less is doing a disservice to the music, theatrics and showmanship of one of the most prolific live bands of the past few years.
Within the first three songs, the band pulled off a stunt straight out of Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Prestige’. But there was no Hollywood magic in the Qudos Bank Arena to assist enigmatic frontman Tyler Joseph, as he disappeared under a sheet on stage, only to immediately reappear on the other side of the Arena to the deafening cheers of 21,000 Twenty One Pilots fans.
With enough spectacle for a three-ring circus, it might be brought in to question what exactly the band was trying to distract the audience from. If Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun were any less competent, you would assume it was the music. However as Tyler effortlessly bounced between playing the piano, ukulele and bass guitar, it was obvious that the kid has an incredible musical prowess. That’s without even touching on Josh’s mastery of the drums; he has such an incredible style to his playing, whether he was playing on stage, or on a drum kit being held up by the enthusiastic crowd.
They opened the show with ‘Heavydirtysoul’- the same way they have opened their previous two Australian tours. This immediately begged the question whether their Emotional Road Show Tour would be in any way different to their show in May of last year. I needn’t have worried, as the band filled the set list with so many fan favourites from their first two albums; this show was less a showcase of their current album Blurryface, and more a showcase of how far the band has come in their career.
In a night so full of pageantry, it’s hard to pinpoint what the best moments were. Tyler and Josh taking the show to a tiny stage in the centre of the arena to perform throwback pieces ‘Ode to Sleep’ and ‘Addict With a Pen’, while the screens on the main stage rolled footage of their first ever shows in 2011 was definitely one of the best. With so many entertaining gimmicks, a moment that was stripped back to just the boys, a piano and a drum kit was well received, and was the best showcase of the band and their music. An absolute highlight of the night, twenty one pilots closed out the throwback set with an emotional cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Cancer’, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the arena.
In all, Twenty One Pilots barrelled through 21 songs, three covers, a magic act, performing on top of the crowd, a drum battle and running over the crowd in a giant hamster ball (yes, REALLY) all in the space of two hours. Tyler closed the night out with his trademark “we’re Twenty One Pilots, and so are you”, which sounds cheesy and pandering- but there was something about how earnestly he said it that you couldn’t help but understand how so many kids emotionally connect with this band. So I guess I’m Twenty One Pilots now too?