Twenty One Pilot’s ‘Bandito Tour’ leaves little to be desired
By Anna Dorl
It’s an incredible feeling when you score seats to see one of the most popular bands in the world. I’ve been a fan of Twenty One Pilots for a couple years, ever since I discovered their album “Vessel.” So when my friend who goes to school in Phoenix, Arizona told me she got two tickets to their exclusive Bandito Tour at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, I jumped at the chance to see one of my favorite bands perform live.
Twenty One Pilots’ music can only be described as an eclectic mixture of alternative, rap, pop, and rock, with a little bit of ukulele and screamo thrown into the mix. Twenty One Pilots has become extremely popular with teens because their lyrics focus on struggles with mental health, the importance of creativity, and the daily fight to stay alive and keep going throughout life’s struggles.
Each show on the Bandito Tour opened with Max Frost, an indie pop singer, who played a couple of songs from his new album “Gold Rush” such as “Good Morning” and “Money Problems” and some older favorites like “White Lies.” His passion and happiness were contagious, even though a majority of the audience was not familiar with him. After Frost left the stage, AWOLNATION, another alternative rock band, came on and performed some of their fan favorites including “Run” and “Kill Your Heroes.” Their crazy electric guitar solos filled the stadium with energy. The crowd went wild when they closed with their 2011 hit, “Sail.”
A brief intermission separated the two openers from Twenty One Pilots. The crowd went crazy when the room went black and the walls shook and swelled with the low opening note to “Jumpsuit,” the first track on their new concept album “Trench.” The two-man band, made up of vocalist/instrumentalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, exploded onto the stage with Josh drumming at breakneck speed on a moving platform and Tyler jumping up to sing on the hood of a flaming car, as seen in the music video for their new song “Levitate.” During “Fairly Local,” Tyler, wearing a mask, climbed up onto another moving platform and fell backwards into a pit in the middle of the stage as the lights went out. A spotlight appeared on a random section of nosebleed seats (unfortunately, not ours) and there Tyler was, standing among shocked audience members. His body double waved up at him from the stage and everyone screamed and cheered the real Tyler on as he finished the song.
Twenty One Pilots performed multiple songs from their new album as well as some old favorites from their last hit album “Blurryface” and their self-titled album. After the somber progression from new songs “Neon Gravestones” and “Bandito” into old favorite “Taxi Cab” performed on the B stage, the audience roared to life again as the dynamic duo crossed a catwalk bridge to get back to the main stage during their performance of their high-energy banger “Pet Cheetah.” In the middle of the show, Tyler and Josh came back out with Max Frost and AWOLNATION to cover “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls and “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.
At the end of the show, Tyler and Josh came back out for an encore and performed “Trees,” their traditional closing song at all of their concerts. They got onto platforms held by the general admission audience and beat rhythmically on huge drums as yellow confetti fluttered down into the pit. Tyler and Josh took a bow and Tyler declared, “We are Twenty One Pilots and so are you. See you next time” as the crowd screamed.
The Bandito Tour was an incredible experience I’ll never forget. If you’re ever lucky enough to have the opportunity to get tickets to see Twenty One Pilots, make sure you take it – they never disappoint.