I knew this was going to be a good show.
Openers Judah and the Lion, Jon Bellion and Travis Mendes kicked the concert off with high-energy hits. As a girl who mostly goes to country concerts, I enjoyed the hair-flipping, synchronized dancing and jumping around the stage.
Then it was time for Twenty One Pilots to start their set.
Joseph and Dun wore black suit pants with red suit jackets and ski masks over their heads. Microphones hung from the ceiling, and the entire arena glowed red. They rocked the house, opening up with “Heavydirtysoul.”
Dun and Joseph both have anxiety when it comes to performing in front of large groups of people. Their music speaks to those who struggle with similar issues. The song “Lane Boy” includes the lyrics “But I know a thing or two about pain and darkness. If it wasn’t for this music, I don’t know how I would’ve fought this.”
A girl in the front of the pit held up a sign that said, “Your music saved my life.” Tears streamed down her face as she sang along.
During a set transition, where Dun and Joseph moved to a small stage behind the pit, they played a video of the band from 2011 on the main stage. It showed how far the band has come from their first performances, when they hitched a trailer to the back of a truck and carried their own equipment around from show to show.
The band arrived on the secondary stage wearing skeleton bodysuits. They performed four songs on the stage, where Joseph stood on his piano and Dun went ham on the drums as per usual.
Back on the mainstage, Joseph took a walk on the crowd — as if regular crowd surfing is outdated. The duo did backflips off pianos, went zorbing across the crowd and played drums on platforms held up by the audience.
They brought out the opening acts and sang a few classics, including Blackstreet’s “No Diggity,” House of Pain’s “Jump Around,” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love?” which featured a dancing Santa and lobster. It was the ultimate 90s throwback.
As college students, we can relate to the next song on a personal level: “Stressed Out.” You may have heard it on the radio. After Joseph finished singing, he stared out into the audience for a moment in awe. He smiled, finished with an acoustic version of the song, and exited the stage.
“T-O-P, T-O-P,” the crowd chanted. In under a minute, Joseph and Dun were back onstage with one last burst of energy for the night.
The band played one last song, “Trees.” For the last chorus of the song, they played drums on platforms — once again held up by the audience — in opposite ends of the pit, facing each other. What happened next, no video could do justice. As they pounded the drums and sang out with all they had, confetti shot out and turned the pit into a blizzard of red. Smoke cannons went off onstage.
When the song was over, the men took a humble bow and walked off the stage to the sound of the loudest crowd I’ve ever heard.