Twenty One Pilots Pack Plenty of Punch in Biggest Houston Stop Yet
Photos by Violeta Alvarez
Twenty One Pilots
Revention Music Center
October 2, 2015
Saturday marked my third Twenty One Pilots concert. The Ohio-born duo returned to Houston in support of their new record, Blurryface, selling out a newly minted Revention Music Center in the wake of their chart-topping fourth studio album’s success.
Leading up to the show, I had my reservations.
Would their act continue to pack the same punch in such a large venue, or would it feel uninspired? Would those in attendance remain enthusiastic and enamored, or would the performance fall victim to the loud, unruly crowds for which Houston is so infamous?
Fortunately, my concerns were refuted.
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Despite Revention’s capacity being nearly three times that of House of Blues, vocalist Tyler Joseph and percussionist Josh Dun commanded the stage with intensity, and they maintained the crowd’s attention for nearly two hours.
Fans were transfixed, screaming only between songs and chanting along during the hooks and choruses. Only a few concertgoers near the back of the venue were seen chatting among themselves during the show, but glares from everyone else in attendance subdued their conversations, which were held to a hushed whisper.
Twenty One Pilots began their act with new material, rolling through two cuts off Blurryface before playing “Guns for Hands” and “Migraine,” which sent the crowd into a collective frenzy. Blurryface is a good album, but its predecessor, Vessel, was clearly the fan favorite.
Halfway through the show, Dun left his drum kit and joined Joseph behind his piano. As Joseph sang, Dun began tapping his sticks on top of the piano, eventually returning to his drums as the two performed an abridged medley of older songs.
Dun later wailed on a makeshift drum kit atop the outstretched hands of the crowd, and Joseph climbed a beam in the back of the venue, where he galvanized attendees from an alternate vantage point.
A bright, flashing backdrop gave the concert the feeling of an EDM show, while the persistent chanting of attendees made it feel like church. The stage and crowd may have grown significantly, but Twenty One Pilots have maintained their authenticity and flair for performing, and fans have taken notice and remained enthusiastic.
Saturday night felt like a group effort, a movement even. It was the kind of show that served as a testament to the staying power of a band as it evolves, a reminder that things may change but, in a way, they will always be the same.
When it was all over, the two stood side by side, clasped their hands together and bowed.
“We are Twenty One Pilots,” Joseph told the crowd, “And so are you.”
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