In the middle of their set, lead singer of Twenty One Pilots Tyler Joseph said, “When you have the microphone you can do whatever you want,” and that’s exactly what the duo from Columbus, Ohio did on their second night at the 9:30 Club. Playing every song off of their latest album, Vessel, as well as favorites from their first album and a medley of covers, they catered to fans old and new.
I arrived an hour before doors opened to a line already forming in the misty Wednesday evening. The sold-out crowd filed into the pit of the small concert venue and the opening act, Vinyl Theater, took the stage an hour later. The recently signed group out of Milwaukee put on an energetic performance, playing songs from their new album released only the day before. Then, MisterWives took the stage and were as entertaining as ever. Lead singer Mandy Lee charmingly pranced around the stage for the duration of their short set, her soft, yet powerful voice commanding the attention of the audience.
After MisterWives’ set, the lights dimmed, and the crowd waited in anticipation for the headlining band to arrive on stage. A British voice-over named Nigel introduced the band, who came out with high energy playing “Guns for Hands” in skeleton jumpsuits. However, in between songs, Joseph had a very subdued demeanor. In the middle of their set, he brought out a ukulele and calmly conversed with Nigel as a set up for an assortment of covers including “All I Do Is Win”, “Bugatti”, “Drunk In Love” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.
The group used every part of the venue during their performance, including the audience. During many songs, only those in the front could see Joseph hidden behind his piano. However, drummer Josh Dun was lofted above the stage in view of everyone. During “Semi-Automatic”, the crowd lifted Dun as he played a drum solo. While performing “Car Radio” during their encore, Joseph disappeared only to reappear in the midst of the crowd in the balcony and the group ended the night held up by the crowd playing drums to the song, “Trees”. By the end of the show Twenty One Pilots had proven why they deserve to headline a world tour. Through their passionate performance and powerful lyrics, Joseph and Dun affirmed their love for their music and made an impression that will not soon fade.
Photo: Danielle Hewitt/The Georgetown Voice