Review: Twenty One Pilots concert

Twenty One Pilots put on a lively and touching performance at the Sprint Center Nov. 21. The alternative duo’s concert was opened by Max Frost and AWOLNATION.

Naomi James, Writer

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    The Twenty One Pilots concert at the Sprint Center Nov. 21 had some rough moments during the opening acts, but the headline band’s performance was beyond expectations.

Max Frost was an impressive opener, as he was the only performer on stage to play his music. Instead of bringing touring musicians to play other instruments, the alternative artist played drums and sang simultaneously. He relied on pre-recorded tracks for the rest of his production, which didn’t take away from the energy of his catchy songs.

AWOLNATION’s set was loud, but lacked the energy and stage presence necessary to truly engage the crowd. Even “Sail”, the band’s breakout single, fell flat as frontman Aaron Bruno delivered a lackluster performance. The lights used during the band’s set were blindingly bright and more distracting than engaging. AWOLNATION’s songs held the potential for a powerful performance, but Bruno seemed to fail to make the audience really care about what was happening on stage.

Twenty One Pilots’ set was captivating, using strong musicianship, stunning visuals and poignant emotion to make every moment memorable. As the sole members of the band, singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun choose not to hire touring musicians to accompany them onstage. Joseph plays instruments like piano, ukulele and bass in addition to providing his vocals, while Dun occasionally takes a break from drumming to play trumpet. These additional instruments added a level of fun to the concert by showing off the pair’s musical prowess.

    Visual effects of screens, props and projections enhanced the concert experience. Each song had a different color scheme and set of patterns that were used in the arena lighting and screens. The addition of unique graphics for each song added to the atmosphere and overall interest of the show. While the band performed on a smaller stage at the other side of the general admission floor, a sheer curtain dropped down on which images and patterns were projected. These effects reflected the emotions conveyed through the corresponding songs and made them seem more heartfelt.

    Twenty One Pilots managed to balance the heavier mood of many of their songs with more light-hearted banter and references, without taking away the validity of the more intense emotions. Gags, like Dun revealing that he had “KCMO” written across his abdomen, brightened the mood of the room when it was appropriate. The crowd remained invested in the show from start to finish, and the camaraderie among audience members was clear. The members of Twenty One Pilots know how to put on a good show, and it’s worth paying to see them live.