Twenty One Pilots took 2016 by storm as they topped both the Pop and Alternative radio stations throughout the year. Rolling Stone named them “Biggest New Band” of 2016, and last night, Twenty One Pilots proved to Chicago that their title will carry over to 2017. Accompanied by Judah and The Lion and Jon Bellion, Twenty One Pilots’ Emotional Roadshow Tour was one of the most insane nights Chicago has ever seen.
Judah and The Lion, a Folksy Hip Hop group from Nashville, began the show with more energy than anyone could imagine. The crowd sang along with the band’s chart-topping, breakout single, Take It All Back. Though she set was short, it was filled with dancing and singing – especially during the band’s cover of Booty Wurk. The band left the stage after forty five minutes, but they weren’t gone for good.
Next to take the stage was Jon Bellion, who announced his single, “All Time Low” had just hit double platinum. Jon and company danced and jumped around the stage. They sang songs off his album The Human Condition and told the crowd about what a pleasure it has been to be on tour with the boys of Twenty One Pilots.
Each of the bands was more energetic than the next, all in their each unique way. Even at the slowest of songs and during the dullest of moments, everyone on stage was doing something. I can honestly say that out of the 100’s of bands I have seen in my lifetime, these three are three of the most energetic out there. The band’s’ energy weren’t just coming from their love of music, but from feeding off of the crowd’s energy as well. This was more than a concert, it was a show and the grand finale was Twenty One Pilots’ entire set.
There were backflips off of the piano, there were drum sets in the middle of the crowd, there were Mario Cart tournaments, there were hamster balls and drum lines and teleportation and stage switches. Anything you could imagine to engage the crowd, Twenty One Pilots did it. As energizing as that was, the stunts were not the amazing part about Twenty One Pilots’ performance.
The remarkable part of Twenty One Pilots, is their ability to connect with each person in the crowd. They weren’t playing to a room of over 10,000 people, they were playing individually for each of those 10,000 people. I can’t even count the number of fans I saw sobbing during the sad songs, and screaming during the happy songs. People in the back we’re reaching out to Tyler like he was singing only to them, and sometimes it really felt that way. It was overwhelmingly obvious how much the boys adored their fans.
Even with the title the best band of 2016 and with a sold out show, Tyler and Josh never stop feeling gracious for their fans. The boys expressed that gratitude to United Center by thanking everyone and telling the crowd how much they love Chicago. They even gave a shout out to a fan that they recognized from their previous shows in Chicago.
Before the end of Twenty One Pilots’ set, they called out the opening bands to do a series of cover songs for the crowd. Together the bands did their own renditions of Tubthumping, No Diggity, Where is the love? and Jump Around.
No matter how frequently you hear Twenty One Pilots on the radio, or how many arenas they sell out, they will always stay themselves and play for their fans. Their music won’t ever get old, and their shows most certainly won’t either.