by Albert Spradley
On the anniversary of a one of America’s most devastating events in history, a group of people got together to witness one of the most up and coming bands of the decade. Twenty One Pilots known to their fans as “TOP” prepared to take the stage to the sold out crowd under the clear skies in Philadelphia at Festival Pier. The outdoor setting gave way to the openness of the bands beliefs, allowing one to bring a somewhat calming sense of existence to their everyday life. Behind the stage, a silhouette of the city was used as a backdrop, which brings a calm homey feel to the arena. The Ben Franklin Bridge’s gleaming lights added an esthetic beauty, giving off a reminder of reality that dwells just behind the confines of our personal arena. The water behind the stage finished out this serene setting. That seemed to be so well placed, with the smell of the water mixing with the increasing brotherly love of our great city.
After openers Echosmith exited the stage, I looked around and saw an eclectic group waiting with anticipation like that young kid waiting for their parent to return from a long trip. Without missing a beat, Twenty One Pilots emerged with their opening song “HeavyDirtySoul”, followed by “Stressed Out” which was laced with a little twist. This was the twist that led into a crowd favorite “Guns for Hands”. This is where the unofficial start of the concert truly began. Watching the crowd recite word for word, feeling the energy flowing through the arena. Tyler Joseph let the crowd know we are here and we made it, not as a group, but as a community.
Taking it back to an old crowd pleaser, “Migraine”, this is is where the crowd really became drawn in to the emotional driven show. As the beat dropped, you could feel the oneness in the arena as Joseph lent his mic to the crowd and we became the stars reciting the chorus “am I the only one I know, waging my wars behind my face and above my throat, shadows will scream that I’m alone”. But it didn’t seem to stop there, I really feel as though he let the crowd sing this song as he became the accompaniment to his own lyrics.
TOP also found ways to mellow out and give the show a somber child-like feel that should be embraced and enjoyed. Joseph made this very relevant with his antics, specifically when he made a point to describe the events happening on the stage, as he brought notice to a fly that that was on his piano after he performed “Tonight I Need You to Stay”. During this song, he also enlisted the crowd to climb on top of someone’s shoulders. According to Joseph, his photographer has taken a picture and you can find the music loving fly on Twitter.
As the duo continued through the 26 set show, they got to another crowd favorite, “Car Radio”. The crowd erupted as the last song began. You could feel the three hour show coming to an end and TOP won’t let the energy die. Through one more push, Joseph instructed the crowd to put their hands up and jump. As the energy intensified they ended the show on an impactful encore chant from the crowd.
This chant did not go unanswered, as the band returned to give their fans exactly what they asked for – more love. As they emerged they began the encore with “Goner” off their new album which seemed to be what the younger crowd was waiting for. As the song came to an end the drummer went into his own personal solo. His passion, love and pain can be viewed through his personal release on this track (sorry but the real aspect could only be seen live). Yet that was not it, there final song was “Trees” giving the crowd a somber, yet calming sense to end our great journey, and without missing a beat with the final show of appreciation. They let out more theatrics with the red and white streamers, letting all in attendance know that Blurryface is real and alive and dwells within each and everyone one of us no matter what.