Best Concert Ever: Twenty One Pilots

A month ago today, I was with my best friend, listening to the best band, creating the best concert experience ever.

When I heard Twenty One Pilots was coming to Charlottesville, I asked my friend from RVA if she wanted to go. We both knew Stressed Out and Heathens from the radio and thought it would be a fun concert to go to. Before purchasing tickets in July, we listened to all of their songs to get a better feel past those two hits. I knew after listening to most of the Blurryface album I had to go.

We initially were going to buy nosebleed seats, but we splurged a little and bought seats a level lower.

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The seats were great because we had room to stand, jump, and dance and the bathrooms were really close. But before we could get inside, we went to Mellow Mushroom, a pizza and sandwich restaurant near the venue. It was packed with Clique members, the name of Twenty One Pilot’s fan base. People with dark makeup on their eyes and hands, simulating the band members, and dozens of band t-shirts and pairs of ripped dark jeans. Apparently we were under dressed; I had a band t-shirt but my friend was just dressed for a nice time at a concert. We laughed at our unhip-ness.

When we got to the venue, there was a slight drizzle of rain, which we expected. We stood in one of four very long lines with our raincoats on, checking the time every three minutes, and eavesdropped on the gaggle of preteen girls in front of us and some guys behind us who were looking for  a way to skip the long lines.

The time had finally come for the show to start and we learned there was not one but two openers: Judah and the Lion and Jon Bellion. Both of them were good; I knew a few songs they played. Twenty One Pilots started later than we thought they would, but I’m sure I can say for both of us it was worth the wait.

I have never been to a concert where my whole body felt electrified as I sang all of the words I knew with everyone else in the building. I’ve only felt this feeling one other time at the same venue but with a Paul McCartney concert during “Hey Jude.”

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun may be the only two in the band, but are so captivating to watch. There were two large video screens for the people in the back to see the show better, and four or five video panels to show graphics during songs. There were two stages, the main and a smaller one closer to us. In between song transitions, they made their way over to the smaller stage and played two of my favorite songs, Ode to Sleep and Cancer, a cover of a My Chemical Romance song, and I was so excited I was singing like a crazy person.

Out of all the songs they played, I’d have to say all of them were my favorite. How can you choose one three minute moment out of a two hour show? You can’t. There were times the duo made the show personal, as if they were talking straight to me. I’m sure everyone felt that way. Twenty One Pilots sings the problems and fears you stay awake and sing to yourself.

“We are Twenty One Pilots and so are you.”

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