Twenty One Pilots is not to everyone’s taste. Some people just do not dig it; others do not know what to do with it: is it rap? is it screamo? is it indie-reggae-pop? Some people do not understand the lyrics, or they do not see the layers of emotion that go into the songs. Some people do not even appreciate how mainstream they have become. Any one of these things can be true, but the one thing that cannot be disputed is the fact that they put on a great show.
Tyler Joseph (lead singer) and Josh Dun (drummer) of Twenty One Pilots do a great deal for their fans. In their show last February in Anaheim, they went into the audience three times: Joseph in a giant hamster ball, Dun on a platform carrying extra drums, and, finally, in an unbelievable scene to close out the show they both got on platforms to play a pair of enormous drums. Even my mother, who had no interest in the concert, was in awe of their boldness. For a fan, this is especially touching when you consider how brutally Joseph was treated only a few months back when he crowd surfed into the audience and was almost suffocated by his fans
The two boys obviously put a lot of faith in the audience, and in each other. In one particularly cute moment, Joseph asked us to sing along to The Judge. “That’s pretty good,” he commented, “but Spooky wants some more.” Spooky, short for DJ Spooky Jim, refers to Dun and to their amazing friendship.
The effects of the show were extraordinary, with smoke, lights, and tons of confetti. There was even a “magic trick” during Hometown which involved Joseph disappearing under a blanket and reappearing in the audience moments later. The band continued these theatrics throughout the night while going through multiple outfits, such as suits, hoodies, beanies, and flimsy shirts.
However, the best thing about that night was the passion. Joseph screamed his words as loud as he could and Dun hit his drums with all his might. Joseph sang about truth, about purpose, about hope, and he spoke about it, too. He told us to wave our hands, to move, to scream. We waved our hands, we moved, we all screamed, not just for Joseph and Dun, not just for our band, not even just for ourselves, but for the sake of moving; for the sake of screaming. For the sake of finding truth, of finding purpose, of finding hope, of finding something that means something to you. That night, I found what Twenty One Pilots means to me, and I suspect that everyone else did as well.