Twenty One Pilots
Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney NSW
April 1st, 2017
Supported by: Safia
From house shows and backyards in 2011 to arenas in 2017. Such a rapid expansion can often cause some bands to not fully utilize the space they’re given; Twenty One Pilots are not one of those bands. Carrying an entire subculture on their shoulders, the boys displayed their talented showmanship in a live show so jam packed, you’ll wonder where the time went.
Opening the show came Australian 3-piece SAFIA, who came out swinging with an energetic yet accessible set. Lead singer Ben Woolner jumped around the stage with pointed feet and a grin, adorning only a pair of black socks. His energetic vibe rubbed off on the crowd though their performance of hits such as Counting Sheep and Embracing Me. The energy remained through their lesser known songs, rendering it impossible not to dance along. They finished off their stellar set with popular single Make Them Wheels Roll, undoubtedly leaving with new fans in tow.
The lights dim, the crowd screams, the black sheet drops and to the introduction of Fairly Local, the men of the hour take the stage, adorned in their signature black ski masks. The two-piece attack Heavydirtysoul with 110% the moment they’re on stage, setting a precedent for the night to come. The same can be said for the incredible light show. The crowd is immediately in awe as Tyler appears on the other side of the arena and rips off the mask.
Josh’s replacement of masks from black to white signifies the change to fan favourites Migraine and Hometown which are treated with an equal level of energy and genuine passion from performers and audience alike. The presence Tyler has in a room in genuinely captivating and every eye in the room follows him as he dances through a medley of Message Man and Polarize. The light show is something of a spectacle of itself. Its transition from the familiar reds and whites to fluorescents purple and green that, to anyone familiar with pop-culture, signals the beginning of Heathens, a track that outshines the movie in which it was written for.
Suddenly the tone changes, Tyler changes costume and pulls out the famous ukulele as the famous first chords of House of Gold are strummed and slowly merged into We Don’t Believe What’s On TV. The energy is palpable as Tyler dances across the stage and fans scream the lyrics as loud as they can muster. An energy that continues through absolute banger Screen merged in with The Judge, and fan favourite Elvis cover, Can’t Help Falling In Love. Thus ending the ‘Pastel’ portion of the show.
We’re then introduced through the backing of Lane Boy, to two gas mask adorning people wielding smoke machines. Out of the blue? Yes. Strangely fitting? Also yes. The song ends with a bang (Quite literally) and the stage goes black.
Then it happens…
Across the arena the boys write a love letter to those from the beginning. It’s here that Tyler’s both vocal and pianist talents are shown. Through Ode To Sleep, Addict with a Pen and a heartbreaking cover of My Chemical Romance’s Cancer, a strong sense of nostalgia is felt by everyone as they’re mesmerized by his presence.
The next twenty minute involved the most effective audience interaction I’ve ever witnessed. Between such favorites as Holding on to You, Ride and Stressed Out the audience is shown that the drummer can in fact be center stage. Whether it be through Josh’s drum competition with himself, the return of the Gas mask characters for a choreographed drum performance or His playing the drums on top of people, Josh certainly made his mark, and showed off just how talented of a drummer he is.
For those who thought that it couldn’t get any more out of the blue, they’re proven wrong. As Tyler shows us, to the background of Guns for Hands, that he will not be shown up and proceeds to get in a zorb ball and channel his inner hamster. Personally, his balance was quite impressive as was the strength of thousands of teenage girls.
The final stretch included an emotionally performed Car Radio that displays the passion of both the audience and Tyler at its peaks. It’s very clear what this song means to everyone and in turn makes a powerful moment that I personally feel blessed to be a part of.
Twenty One Pilots are carrying a torch lit by their emo forefathers and they are carrying it with pride. Its immediately clear how incredibly humble they are and just happy to be able to play and that rubs off on everyone around them. Through they’re impressive showmanship to their musical talent, Sydney showed that these boys have not finished growing and I’m incredibly excited to see what’s next.
twenty one pilots
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