“The Night That Made 3000 People Jump”: Twenty One Pilots Concert Review


Amber Kroner '17, Writer

After standing through two opening acts, we were thrilled to see the clock finally hit 9:30.  On October 17, the alternative American duo group “Twenty One Pilots” took over the Oakland Fox Theater. They immediately owned the stage, rocking their signature masks, and delivering the best live performance I’ve ever seen. No stranger to tiny venues, the two musicians Tyler Joseph (lead singer) and Josh Dun (drummer) retained the same intimacy one would expect from a small club show. Through communication with the audience, powerful lyrics, and lots of confetti, the duo group delivered an exhilarating and absolutely astonishing performance. Maybe it’s just because I’m so incredibly passionate about this band in particular, but I’m pretty sure that this is the best concert I’ve ever attended in my entire life– and trust me, I’ve been to LOTS of concerts. Not once did the two of them not seem totally excited and happy to be there. They seemed as if they were having the time of their lives, performing song after song and never becoming tired or bored. The whole audience had memorized every single lyric to all of their songs. Fans were completely comfortable with those around them and didn’t hesitate to jump or dance whenever they pleased. Everyone happily ignored the fact that we were all surrounded by hundreds of sweaty bodies and were constantly being pushed and shoved around.

Twenty One Pilots is well known for their upbeat and passionate fan base, known as “The Skeleton Clique.” At this concert, fans went to extreme measures such as painting their necks and hands black (something that Tyler Joseph does for every show and music video) and wearing full skeleton suits and masks (in regards to “The Skeleton Clique”).

Joseph and Dun both grew up in Columbus, Ohio, and after meeting in college, started their successful band. It feels necessary to appreciate what these two men have accomplished in such little time. After opening for other bands and playing in tiny venues, after just one album release, Twenty One Pilots has stolen the large venues and huge fan base.

This entire concert was significant because it was filmed for a TV special. It will soon be online for fans to watch. There were large cameras in the air and lots of photographers around. The band made it very clear to us that we were going to be on TV, so the entire audience was buoyant and enthusiastic the entire show.

Highlights from the show included Josh Dun placing his entire drum set on top of the audience and crowd surfing whilst still playing his drums, and the band asking everyone to stop filming and taking photos for “Addict with a Pen,” in order to create an intimate experience just between the band and the Fox Theater audience (this part will also be cut out of the featured video, as requested by the band). They performed highlighted songs such as “Heavydirtysoul,” “Tear in My Heart,” “Lane Boy,” “Car Radio,” “The Run and Go,” “Stressed Out,” “Goner,” and closing the show with “Trees.”   
This show was honestly so extraordinary that the only negatives I can possibly think of were from the opening acts. “Finish Ticket,” and “Echosmith” both opened for the band. The show started at 7:30 and Twenty One Pilots came out at around 9:30. This was after hundreds of people had been standing in line for 5 hours (again, very passionate fan base). There was a lot of waiting and waiting for the band to finally come out, which seemed prolonged and unnecessary. I enjoyed the San Francisco-based alternative rock band, “Finish Ticket,” but the indie pop band, “Echosmith” could have shown some more energy. We all know that touring is draining, but they seemed overly tired and exhausted. Parts of what Sydney Sierota, lead singer, was saying towards the audience came across as cheesy, like she was trying too hard to sound “deep” and “meaningful.” Her statement on how we’re all “stars, letting our light shine” seemed very scripted. Also (although this was not the band’s fault) at one point the mic cut out and left a very awkward fifteen seconds of the band singing and not realizing that no one could hear them.

Throughout all the crazy die-hard fans, skeleton masks, and loud drums, the music that Twenty One Pilots produces remains astounding. Tyler Joseph is a lyrical genius, adding darker themes and quick switches from one topic to another. Every single person is missing out if he or she does not take the chance to pick up one of the band’s three albums. Their live performances are even more incredible because they deliver such an intimate atmosphere to each and every person attending the show. Seeing them live has made me fall in love with them on an even deeper level; their music has contributed so much joy and happiness to my life. They definitely stole everyone’s hearts and ears that night of October 17th.