The rumors were most certainly true. I have heard for several years just how stellar a Twenty One Pilots concert was and Monday night those happy rumors were confirmed.
The duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, returning to Salt Lake for a second stop on their 2018-19 “Bandito Tour” — albeit with a seven-day postponement due to a Colorado snowstorm last week — once again wowed a capacity crowd at Vivint Smart Home Arena with a performance that, according to fans in the crowd, had some new elements and a varied setlist when compared to their November 2018 performance.
Walking into the arena, we were wholly unprepared for the assumed dress code. We were surrounded by a sea of Twenty One Pilots fans all donning various patterns of camo or khaki attire adorned with bright yellow stripes representing the band’s simplistic logo. If the sweatshirts, shirts or beanies weren’t specific concert-purchased gear, they were DIY’d with help from strips of bright yellow duct tape. If only I had known we could have easily fit in with the crowd of Millennials, Gen Z-ers and their Gen X-er parents (like my husband and I).
When boning up for the concert — reviewing the setlist and learning more about the Grammy-winning duo — I knew we would experience performances of favorite songs like “Chlorine,” “Heathens,” “Stressed Out” and “Ride.” What I wasn’t prepared for was the incredible stage performance.
I can easily describe the evening’s performance using three P words: pyrotechnics, precision and personality.
Pyrotechnics could easily be considered the third performer on the stage. With the opening performance punctuated by a flaming, burned-out shell of a car onstage to multiple songs being enhanced with fire cannons and fireworks explosions, flames could easily be considered a third bandmate.
When it comes to crafting a rumor-worthy concert, precision is key. Perfectly timed song starts and appropriately abrupt stops take a deft, precise director’s hand. From the physically startling concert opener “Jumpsuit” (surrounding fans literally jumped when the thunderous first chords were played) to the flawless if halting transition between songs, it was obvious the entire performance was carefully choreographed and tightly honed over the past year of tour stops.
Precision was also witnessed when scanning the crowd during performances of Joseph’s rapidly rapped lyrics. Despite the speed of the song, the fans shouted out each lyrical line with perfect cadence, an impressive feat.
As for personality, Joseph and Dun have an abundance. Being a simple duo, filling a stage without a full band backing them up might seem like a challenge. But with effervescent and maybe a little irreverent personalities, these two guys — Joseph on lead vocals, piano, guitar and ukulele and Dun on percussion — more than fill a stage with energy for a nearly two-hour set.
Wardrobe changes, transitions between two stages and even moments when they were both being physically supported by the crowd made for amazing highlights. Joseph appropriately balanced atop the crowd during his performance of “Holding Onto You” and Dun balancing on a mobile drum kit held up by fans during his drum solo on “Car Radio.”
After such a precise, pyrotechnic and personality filled performance, proving all those rumors true, I’m proud to add Twenty One Pilots to my must-see-again concert list.