twenty one pilots’ two nights at Alexandra Palace marked the 3rd and 4th time of seeing them live and they did not disappoint. When empty, the venue itself seemed far too large to fill, but within half an hour the place was packed from wall to wall. People were pressed up against each other, pushing to try and get to the barricade. The band owned these two shows, leaving all those who attended desperately wanting more.
Bry was brilliant. A contrast to twenty one pilots drum-fuelled electronic rock, his soft indie rock vibes started the night wonderfully. At the end of the night his songs were stuck in my head and I left humming and singing along. Night Two saw one of his strings breaking on his acoustic guitar, but the show went on with the electric guitar – it was refreshing to hear a slightly different version of the song. His set was brimming with music and laughter. His small intervals always put a smile on my face whether it was self-deprecating jokes, self-promo or playfully insulting the crazy fans at barricade.
Night One I was one of those hysterical fans at barricade, stood stage right (with everybody’s favourite drummer blocked by a speaker). It was one of the best experiences of my life, singing your heart out and talking to those people around you. Something that never ceases to make me smile is the crew for twenty one pilots; the audio engineers were dancing and singing along to the music – and for them to genuinely love the performances after so long is a testament to how amazing this band is.
The guards at the venue didn’t catch a break, with fans collapsing and passing out throughout the show. It was heart-breaking to see them being carried out crying because they were missing out on the show. Tyler himself called out to the crowd, reminding us to help each other and pointing out a girl stuck in the middle who had passed out. Things like this helps to bring the fans together and encourages the family feel that you find in the Skeleton Clique. Alexandra Palace went above and beyond with this show, having guards placed along the roads after the show to ensure people were safe when leaving the venue.
One of the highlights of the show was the Medley Mashup, it was packed with songs from their self-titled album and Vessel, which brought tears to my eyes. This took them to Stage B, which was nestled towards the back of the room, on a smaller stage. It brought to mind an earlier form of twenty one pilots, with Josh playing electronic drums not unlike the ones he learnt to drum on, whilst they played songs that came from their earliest releases – some even before Josh joined the band. ‘Kitchen Sink’, ‘Fall Away’ and ‘Forest’ were just 3 of the songs that hit me hardest from this stage, it was beautifully done and the screen animations were stunning. We spent Night Two at the barricade for stage B and it was truly wonderful. To fully experience twenty one pilots you need to go more than once and stand in different places.
The distance from Stage A allowed us to really appreciate the stage set-up, as usual the screens were astonishing throughout and the lighting was perfect. Both nights went almost without a hitch (a microphone died on night two) and the smooth show made it even more enjoyable.
Seeing Heathens played live was another magnificent moment. It started with a stripped back piano performance from Tyler and ended with unison head banging from everyone in the audience. As usual twenty one pilots capture something in a live show that can’t be put into words. Though not nearly as popular as ‘Stressed Out’, the crowd were noticeably excited to hear this one. Witnessing these songs live brings another layer to the music and leaves you unable to hear that song without conjuring images of their live performances.
The crowd didn’t stop moving, all my videos are filled with people screaming along to the songs and it was impossible not to join in with them. ‘Ride’, ‘Trees’ and ‘Holding On To You’ saw the band getting into the crowd in the various typical twenty one pilots ways, but the new addition to the Emotional Roadshow was the hamster ball. Both nights saw Tyler running a lap across the crowd in the bright red ball, this entertaining sight is just one of the things that makes fans enamoured with the band. One of the things I love about this band is how involved they are with the crowd and fans; they make sure everyone is involved and try to reach as many of us as possible. There isn’t a single part of the crowd that feels excluded and distanced.
If you haven’t seen these boys yet then you are missing out, they are on of the biggest things in the world right now for a reason – do yourself a favour and get down to one of their shows. It is 100% worth it. Bry will also be touring the UK in February and Ireland in December, make sure you get down to check him out and buy his debut album, which was released on Friday 11th November.