Twenty One Pilots at House of Blues, 10/19/2014
Photos by Jody Perry
Twenty One Pilots House of Blues October 19, 2014
"This is music, and I want you to use it," vocalist Tyler Joseph told the crowd at House of Blues Sunday night. "Fall into it. Disappear."
He and percussionist Josh Dun then began to play "Kitchen Sink," a song about individual struggles and finding hope in the creative process.
"Write something, yeah it might be worthless; then paint something, and it might be worthless; pointless curses, nonsense verses; you'll see purpose start to surface."
The verse was one of many that perfectly encapsulated the appeal of Twenty One Pilots: the band's primary concern is the search for meaning. The Ohio-based duo doesn't pretend to know it all; instead, their lyrics emphasize the beauty of the search itself.
And their lyrics have clearly resonated with people. By providing hope to those fraught with mental anguish and seeking an outlet, the band's music has become a way for fans to vent their frustrations while keeping their hopes high.
Much of Sunday's show mirrored last year's visit: It was the same venue; the band wore the same ski masks and skeleton hoodies as they did last November; and Dun again played the drums atop a wooden plank while being held up by a throng of fans.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
But this time, the House of Blues was sold out; this time, the crowd chanted along to every lyric; and this time, there was almost no chatter among the fans, who were so enrapt by the group's performance that many of them forgot to take out their phones and instead enjoyed the performance with their own two eyes.
Sunday's show was also much more polished, but no less endearing than last year's. Some of the earnest banter was gone but not completely absent. And with lyrics as genuine as theirs, the duo's practiced antics did not detract from the overall performance.
The night was filled with well-known songs, included plenty of flashing lights, a few blasts of confetti and incorporated verses from DJ Khaled's "All I Do is Win," Ace Hood's "Bugatti" and Beyonce's "Drunk in Love."
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The duo's current tour ended with this stop in Houston, so Joseph's voice was noticeably gravelly. But the crowd was happy to help him hit the higher notes, providing a sea of choruses for him to sing above throughout their 90-minute set.
After all, we're all broken people.
So, How Was the Opener? Misterwives' music was a combination of upbeat, energetic synth-pop with the flair of a trumpet and saxophone, coupled with a female vocalist to set them apart from the rest of the pack. She did just that, with her voice eliciting cheers during just about every song, followed by raucous applause for each successive track.
Personal Bias: We all have guns for hands.
The Crowd: The shared enthusiasm at Sunday's show was especially gratifying after the shitshow of a crowd at Brand New the night before.
Random Notebook Dump: These guys are quickly rising into the list of my favorite live performers. Seriously, if you haven't already, you have got to catch them before they start playing gigantic amphitheaters and the intimacy is lost.
SET LIST Guns For Hands Migraine Ode to Sleep Screen House of Gold Forest Fall Away (featuring trumpet player from Misterwives) Addict With a Pen Kitchen Sink Holding Onto You Semi-Automatic The Run & Go (Joseph's mom's favorite) Fake You Out Summertime Sadness
ENCORE Car Radio Truce Trees
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS