I filed into Value City Arena with thousands of teenagers on September 18 and prepared myself for the emotional journey ahead of me. The journey of which I speak being my first Twenty One Pilots concert.
All around me were a variety of people dressed in their Blurryface era t-shirts with clever signs or their necks and hands painted black to mimic the lead singer’s symbolic attire. The vibe of just entering the venue was enough to get anyone pumped up, let alone the fact the show we were all attending held an extra special place in our hearts.
Lead singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun are the duo making up Twenty One Pilots, and both of the men originate from Columbus and still reside there today. They have spent time playing to crowds consisting of ten people all the way to their largest venue, Value City Arena, where there were 14,000 people in attendance.
Although I failed to physically attend these smaller venues, the plethora of videos and articles I have read over time made me feel like I really did go to those shows. I felt as if I had watched them grow into the band they are today, and there was this weird sense of proudness I had and I believe all fans feel whenever their favorite group reaches a new milestone.
I knew the others around me were feeling the same way as I had read multiple posts on social media regarding this concert and how excited everyone was to see the boys play in the city they started from.
When I reached my seat, I sat back and just took it all in. I listened and felt all of the happiness radiating from the people above and next to me as we all waited for our favorite band to come onto the stage.
After the two opening bands, Finish Ticket and Echosmith, played through their setlists I watched the stage crew set up Twenty One Pilots’ stage and felt a nice combination of excitement and nervousness. My source of nerves came from how high my expectations were for this show after spending hours watching live videos and reading comments about the stage energy they create.
I can honestly say I was not disappointed, and my expectations were exceeded. From the moment Joseph and Dun ran on stage to their opening song “Heavy Dirty Soul,” I knew the articles I read and the videos I watched were accurate. Joseph performed as his usual self as he twitched his way across the stage, jumped off of equipment and fell intensely to the ground during high energy parts in his music.
Twenty One Pilots played almost every song I wanted to hear live minus some of the older songs I knew they would not end up performing but still hoped they would. The two men kept the crowd hyped from the general admission on the floor all the way up to sections in the three hundreds, which were home to the highest seats possible and where I was located. Even from way up there, we sang every lyric, jumped when he implied we do so, clapped and even participated in the intense beat drop in “Lane Boy.”
Out of all the songs I heard that night, I would say my top five would be “The Judge,” “Stressed Out,” the chorus of “Forest,” “Holding On To You,” and the beautiful cover of Elvis Presley’s song, “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”
The music and messages behind the music Joseph writes have always held a special place in my heart. Hearing those songs I love live while surrounded by people who feel the same impact as I do was an experience I will gladly go back and relive.
Next time Twenty One Pilots finds themselves on another tour, I will be the first person to buy tickets whether the venue is in Columbus or Pittsburgh. I would highly recommend anyone who likes this band or who likes similar style music to make an effort to see them in concert because I guarantee they will not regret it.