Review: Twenty One Pilots

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Absolutely ages ago I saw Twenty One Pilots in Birmingham with my best friend and we had the most amazing time and despite how long it’s been, I always get excited when I think about the gig and can’t wait until they tour around Britain again.

Around the same time that I went to see the band, writing for the university magazine became compulsory, and although this review didn’t even make it to the online version (probably because few people knew who Twenty One Pilots were) it was still a piece that I was proud of so I’ve decided to post it here. I hope you enjoy it and I wasn’t completely wrong to be proud of it.

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Twenty One Pilots are the musical alt-duo from Columbus, Ohio that you might not have heard of. Formed of frontman Tyler Joseph and incredible drummer, Josh Dun it’s hard to believe that they aren’t getting the recognition that they deserve. Despite their single Tear In My Heart reaching the Top Ten in mid-January and their album ‘Blurryface’ hitting number three on the charts, it seems that most people are none the wiser.

Kicking off their fifth show of the ‘Emotional Roadshow’ tour, the lights are kept moody and dark as Joseph steps out onto the O2 Academy stage in Birmingham. However, instead of a calm anticipation settling over the crowd, a huge roar erupts over the intimate room, which only hosts around three thousand people. Kicking off with the album track Heavydirtysoul, you can barely hear Joseph’s voice over the audience singing his lyrics back to him. Almost instantly, the crowd is energized, everyone moving to the heavy beat of the drums emanating from Dun.

For just two guys on stage, the pair can create a lot of noise and are able to occupy the entire stage … and the crowd. They don’t stop at backflips, costume and instrument changes but as the reggae-themed Ride gets into the swing of things, Dun places a small drum kit on a board and literally surfs the crowd as he plays the last chorus.

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Just when you think they possibly couldn’t get better, right slap bang in the middle of their set, the familiar tune of Lane Boy begins. Joseph is frantically rapping in double-time before Dun bursts into a drum’n’bass masterpiece, setting the whole room into synchronized jumping. He raps, “Honest, there’s a few songs on this record that feel common,” but this definitely isn’t one of them.

After a medley of some of the bands first songs like Doubt and Holding Onto You, the duo partakes in an explosive ending featuring the well-loved Goner and Trees. This time, the duo stand on top of the crowd and hit a drum each over the noise of smoke and confetti canons that have the crowd eating out the palm of their hands.

It is almost safe to say that seeing Twenty One Pilots may be one of the best experiences you will ever see on a stage. Helped not only by the energy generated by the twosome on stage, but also in the variety of their music, from the mellow tones of the ukulele to electronic dance beats. Grab a ticket whilst you still can; however, be prepared for possibly the worst case of post-gig blues you’ll ever get.

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