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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Twenty One Pilots: emotional roadshow world tour


Hamster balls, disappearing acts, Mario Kart and more

The Twenty One Pilots concert at the Golden 1 Center was hands-down one of the best concerts I have ever been to. They were so enthusiastic and genuinely seemed ecstatic to be performing. Twenty One Pilots are one of the most versatile bands when it comes to the sounds they are creating; many people have a hard time categorizing them since they have such a wide variety of songs because they truly perform and write music that they want.

When the show began, the songs were a lot darker; I could feel the bass pounding in my heart. The stage was dark and they were stationary for most of the beginning. They started to get more energetic toward the end of the third song, and that’s when the vibe of the concert changed completely.

From then on, they engaged the crowd throughout the entire performance. After the third song, lead vocalist Tyler Joseph put a blanket over himself while on the piano and then, a few seconds later, appeared on the top level of the stadium in the nosebleed seats. This disappearing and reappearing act was a common one throughout the show. The audience was constantly on their toes to see where they would appear next.

At one point, Josh appeared in the middle of the crowd with a drum set and started playing the set literally on top of the crowd. Later in the show, he got inside a big red hamster ball and ran around on top of the crowd, trusting the crowd to hold him up. They even showed up in the back of the pit with a piano and drum set waiting and ready and performed three songs back there, allowing the people who got to the pit later, myself included, to have a close-up spot for a little while.

The band was also able to involve the crowd through innovative experiences that I’ve never seen at a concert. One of the best parts of the concert was when all the music stopped and an MC came out to announce that they would be having a Mario Kart race against a fan.

The race began, the audience was cheering them on and we literally watched Tyler play Mario Kart for five minutes. Later in the night, he explained that their managers had asked what they want to do for the concert and their answer was to play Mario Kart, of course.

When one thinks of a Twenty One Pilots concert, one doesn’t necessarily think there will be costume changes; however, there were at least five. They were either wearing a mask or a red beanie and hat at all times, with the show starting with both of them donning a black ski mask paired with a red suit. This changed after the third song, when Tyler donned a white dress shirt and red beanie and Josh changed into an outfit of bright red pants and no shirt, which made for an interesting look. Then, for the song “House of Gold,” Tyler changed into a black tank with a long floral jacket and big white circle sunglasses along with a ukulele. This was such a different feeling on stage than their previous outfits and each outfit perfectly fit the song they were playing. One of the more memorable looks was when they performed their earlier songs wearing skeleton sweatshirts. This felt like an ode to where they came, since it was the outfit the guys would wear for all of their early career performances.

Most bands want to get out of their hometown, but these guys seem to be itching for any chance to go back to Ohio. During the concert, they would allude to their struggle of getting started and gaining popularity with their eclectic sound. They showed a video about the start of the career and it was clear that they are genuinely grateful for their career and fans.

Later, during the song “Stressed Out,” the set design was transformed into virtual windows that would occasionally open and show scenes from the song’s music video, which was shot in their Ohio bedrooms, again adding to the feeling of nostalgia that permeated the show.

Overall, the set design and lighting were exceptional and set the mood for every song. Definitely a concert to remember.
Written by: CaraJoy Kleinrock — arts@theaggie.org


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