Bash on the tweens all you like for idolizing the Biebs, but they were plenty in number (with parents tagging along) to join the roaring crowd at the Opera House to partake in the Twenty One Pilots experience.
First impressions are last impressions, and Hunter Hunted made a lasting one, even before the first note. Bands take note: coming out to a Game of Thrones theme will earn you fans. The LA based indie pop band, making their Canadian debut, had the crowd clapping along within the first song. Melodic dance-pop with shades of strings and acoustic guitar and unforgettable harmonies, their sound resonated with the tweens and hipsters alike. The band also snuck in a Pixies cover, earning the bonus points with the grown ups as well.
NONONO, also making their Canadian debut, couldn’t match the energy levels of the first act. Loud instrumentation (drums and guitars) drowned out Stina Wappling’s vocals. Her muffled quiet banter furthered a sense of disconnect, rather unfortunate, given the band had some quality material, especially the mellower Love. The Swedish trio’s radio hit Pumpin Blood briefly spiked up the energy level in an otherwise fairly subdued set.
Describing the Twenty One Pilots show as ‘theatric’ would be a criminal understatement. Starting off in ski masks for Guns for Hands, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun changed into a skeleton suit before settling into the attire for the evening. The energy level never dipped, as the cult-like fan base yelled out every syllable of every song from the genre-defying brilliant Vessels. The band also threw in a Mad World electro beats cover for good measures. Audience interaction reached new levels of intimacy as Tyler belted out holding onto you on a platform held on by those in the first few rows. You think that was rad? Few songs later, Josh drummed on a platform the same way. I will give you a minute to let that sink in. The sensory experience reached its crescendo with a dual drum-off on watered kits in the backdrop of red and blue lights a la Blue Man Group. The theatrics, the songs, the energy: deserves the top spot in my list of best shows ever. Recommend you add Twenty One Pilots on your bucket list of bands you have to see before you die.
For concert photos of Twenty One Pilots, NONONO, and Hunter Hunted, click here.