Reviews Round-Up: Twenty One Pilots

The Lantern – September 19, 2015 – “Equipped With An Album Of New Songs, Twenty One Pilots Remains Hometown Favorite”
“In place of the jersey-wearing crowd that normally fills the Jerome Schottenstein Center during basketball season, black-clad fans sporting carefully applied skeletal face paint energetically offered a deafening “welcome home” to Columbus-based alternative pop band Twenty One Pilots.

Its four albums each have a distinct sound, yet despite the evolution of the band, Joseph’s thought-provoking songwriting ensures a consistency in which fans take comfort. As the band grows more popular, its stage presence has become more dramatic, with the addition of intense laser displays and light boards, but the connection Joseph and Dun have with their fans — to the point where they will play and sing on thin wooden boards entirely supported by audience members in the pit — has not wavered. In fact, one could argue that it has been bolstered by the band’s success.”

Phoenix New Times – October 14, 2015 – “Twenty One Pilots Fans Are Truly Fanatical”
“It was clear that there had been a line around the building for a good portion of the day as abandoned blankets, beverages, and snacks lined the perimeter of the building.

Twenty One Pilots exploded on stage with the opener from its number one album Blurryface. As soon as it began, 90 percent of the crowd sang along to every word of “Heavydirtysoul.” The song isn’t even a single. In a surprising move, they cruised right along on the album to their latest alternative radio hit and “Stressed Out” much to the delight of, well, everyone. Joseph and Dun are master showmen in addition to their musical talents and lyrical wizardry.

They bowed to the demands of their chanting fans and returned for a two song encore of “Goner” and “Trees”. The latter was a fantastic finale punctuated by both band members climbing on fan held platforms in the pit as they pounded on toms while confetti exploded around them. It was a fitting spectacular end to a truly spectacular stage show, one in which the crowd never once stopped singing along.”

GigWise – February 26, 2016 – “Ringleaders To A Revolution”
“This two person band isn’t a two person band at all, but instead the ringleaders to something much larger; a revolution. That’s if the kids with painted necks, balaclavas and red face paint are anything to go by. There is a camaraderie between artist and fan that exceeds what is usually expected. Each song is sung in part by the crowd, without prompting. They just know.

The Ohio band’s sound has been described as ‘schizophrenic’ and ‘genre-less’. It might not be the easiest to get on board with, but it makes for a spectacular live show. At times it feels more like a theatre production than a concert. Flowing between pop, hip hop, electro and indie rock sounds; with a few costume changes and a lot of lights; no stone is left unturned and no detail sacrificed. Selling out two nights at Brixton Academy with only one song reaching the UK top 40, Twenty One Pilots might just be the most popular band you’ve never heard of.”

StarTribune – July 30, 2016 – “Twenty One Pilots Land Smoothly in St. Paul”
“Twenty One Pilots — actually just two 20-something dudes from Columbus, Ohio — are the kitchen sink of popular music. They mix emo and angsty lyrics, Macklemore-like raps, Fall Out Boy-ish energy, Charlie Puth-ian piano pop, 311-styled reggae rhythms, EDM beats, Blue Man Group anonymity and even a little Eddie Vedder-esque ukulele strumming into an intoxicating, hard-to-classify concoction that the teens and 20-somethings can’t get enough of.

Quibble all you want about too much genre-blending and how much of the music was live because, ultimately, TOP entertained their audience. Joseph, 27, and Dun, 28, supplied the energy, the emotion and the flash — dazzling lights, striking video images, stage fog blasters, confetti showers and Dun tumbling inside a “hamster ball” à la those Gen X favorites Flaming Lips.

This hodgepodge of songs of different styles from different eras — which, once again, had fans singing along — proved that, contrary to what the industry pros think, a kitchen sink approach to popular music can truly work.”

TMJ4 – July 31, 2016 – “Twenty One Pilots Give High-Energy Show at BMO Harris Pavilion”
“Let me start off by saying, there are not proper categories or labels for these two guys. Tyler Joseph isn’t simply a singer nor is Josh Dunn solely a drummer. Both are multi-talented, musically infused humans. TOP gave a high-energy, well-plotted show. This cannot simply be called a concert. It was a theatrical performance with meaning behind every song and every song its own individual story painted out with a scene of lights and images flashing on a large screen behind them.

Joseph and Dunn’s set list did just as fans like, and that was bringing it back by playing older music and then throwing in the newer stuff in between. They left the newest radio hit, “Stressed out” towards the end. I’d say, generally, holding out on new songs like that re-energizes fans nearing the end of the night, but these fans never got tired.”

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