Twenty One Pilots @ Resorts World Arena, 27th February 2019

It is hard to categorize the sound of Twenty One Pilots. Part hip hop part electronic, part rock part pop, the duo create mind-boggling music that is both uplifting and introspective.  The American band, led by vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, bring their exceptional talent to the Bandito Tour. With their first UK stop at Resort Worlds Arena Twenty One pilots like prophets of old led their frenzied flock, delivering a bombastic but intimate arena show that transformed the mundane evening into something special.

The darkened room had a sense of buzzing expectation as fans muddled in the massive room. The black stage, mysteriously draped in black curtains, was still. An atmospheric musical hummed through the room, producing a sort of futuristic space sound. At exactly 20:00 the curtain fell and fans yelled with excitement, as the base reverberated through the speakers a single masked human walked across the stage. Carrying a torch of fire the masked figure made his way to centre stage, pausing like a solo fighter. The crowd went wild! Slowly another masked figure graced the stage, backlit by a burning car. Like a cinematic start to an apocalyptic film the two shared the flaming torch, the music soared and the pure rock chords of ‘Jumpsuit’ began.

The start was cinematic, pure in its simplicity but immediate in its impact. The visual stimulation was fuelled by the radical dystopian rock of ‘Jumpsuit.’ From the onslaught Dun’s drumming was vicious but precise, delivering a hard-hitting but flawless sound. Joseph’s voice was cutting, a fiery spewing of lyrics that was mirrored by fans own loud cries. It was clear that the night would be epic, a concoction of dystopian sights and bombastic sound that fans were clearly soaking in.

The excitement continued as ‘Levitate’ broke in. The sonic scale of the song is insane, massive hits of sound wash over the crowd as Joseph spits quick paced rap. A dubstep intro, pulling from that electronic flavour that has permeated Twenty One Pilots sound, opens ‘Fairly Local.’ As the stages rise both Dun and Joseph perch on their ledges, moving along as the song fluidly undulates between rock and rap elements. A short sonic intermission brings about ‘Stressed Out.’ The record blooms from a groovy intro to a rock bent, a crescendo of sound that brings an energy blast to the stage. As Joseph hurdles a piano the fans go wild.

A breath washes over the audience as the piano opens ‘Heathens.’ The base filled dark electronic song had fans singing along with pure abandonment. A drum solo broke up ‘We Don’t Believe What’s on TV.’  A cheeky little ukulele rock record the tune is an amalgamation of sound, no doubt a result of the myriad of instruments that graced the stage. The ukulele jams continued as ‘The Judge’ came through. With a touch of ska the song had a jumpy rock pop vibe, a nice break from the electronically manipulated sounds.

A forest background anchored breathy midtempo rock ‘Cut My Lip,’ a song that was followed by acoustically tinged ‘Lane Boy’ and hypnotic ‘Nico and the Niners.’ As ‘Nico and the Niners’ ended a catwalk dropped from the ceiling, transporting the band from the main stage to a smaller central stage. As pit fans rushed around the new location piano led ‘Neon Gravestones’ began. A haunting rock rap song with ferocious sonic elements, ‘Neon Gravestones’ shifted the atmosphere of the room into a sombre experimentation and reflection on life and death. ‘Bandito’ brought a sonic simplicity that was breathtakingly brilliant, made even more impactful by the intimacy of the stage. ‘Pet Cheetah,’ an explosive electro pop with hints of rap, ended the intimate stage and the boys walked back to the main stage.

Back on the main stage ‘Holding on to You’ found Tyler crowd surfing, rising and falling as the punk tune undulated. With Tyler safely back on stage ‘Ride’ streamed in. The uplifting electronic pop record found the crowd in a call and response, integrating the fans voices into the song. ‘My Blood,’ with its modern dystopian pop electro rock brought fans into a dancing frenzy. The night ended with pop R+B infused ‘Morph’ and drum heavy fan favourite ‘Car Radio.’ Punchy ‘Chlorine’ kicked off the encore, followed by reflective ‘Leave the City’ and ‘Trees.’

To say Twenty One Pilots delivered a standout show would be an understatement; their sonic brilliance and ingenuity came to life as they delivered an electrifying performance.  Smaller bands can often be dwarfed by stadium stages, but the stage at Resort World could not hold the explosive energy of Twenty One Pilots. The fans took note, following Twenty One Pilots’ energy fans unbridled passion and enthusiasm was tangible, transforming the night in explosive fashion. At Resort World Arena Twenty One Pilots delivered an awe inspiring show, winning the hearts of their fans and giving a performance that will not be forgotten.

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