Music is an important part of our souls. All music fans know the tremendous effects of music, and the power it can have over both emotions and thoughts, transforming the ordinary into something magical, even spiritual. Embracing this truth of song and music is Grammy Award-winning schizoid-pop duo, Twenty One Pilots.
Twenty One Pilots are living proof that dreams do come true. Signed to Fueled By Ramen in 2012, Tyler Joseph (rapper, singer, piano, ukulele, perpetual motion machine) and Josh Dun (formidable drummer with impeccable timing, speed and stamina) brought their Emotional Roadshow World Tour to the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
One of rock music’s hottest tickets, Twenty One Pilots is idolized for their extraordinary live shows. The sold-out crowd of over 18,000 avid fans--many clad in red eye shadow and the symbolic TOP red beanie hat--were ready to spontaneously combust as they anxiously waited in anticipatory fervor for TOP to take the stage. Much like a movie director might heighten the tension in a scene by using music and dramatic lighting, Twenty One Pilots magically appeared under a veil of red and white lights, silhouetted against a giant graphics screen, hauntingly soundtracked by a brief intro, ”Fairly Local.” The crowd’s excited ear-numbing cheers were deafening for two resplendent hours as the two best friends from Ohio moved from song to song throughout the entire 24-song set.
One has to consider several factors to uncover the secret to TOP’s phenomenal success, other than the awe-inspiring live show comprised of unique talent and innovative music. One lucid factor is the enviable honest relationship the duo has developed with their dedicated fan base, known as the the Skeletøn Clique.
Through the genius of their identifiable and honest lyrics, based on Joseph and Dun’s own personal struggles, many young people that are endeavoring to find their way in this life are continually reminded they are not alone. The Skeletøn Clique have no doubt they are loved, listened to, cared for and supported, finding daily peace and comfort through Twenty One Pilots’ songs filled with positive and uplifting messages, enhanced by the life-altering confidence instilled at their relatable live shows--shows with the atmosphere much like a tent revival--dedicated to reinforcing the shared mantra of staying strong, and, most importantly, stay alive. TOP represent family, a belonging to something bigger than oneself, of shared responsibility to each other that doesn’t stop when the stage goes black.
With the two-song encore of “Goner” and “Trees” fading into the shower of confetti, the Skeletøn Clique left exhilarated, unified and joyful to be alive. They had just spent two hours on a shared journey singing their hearts out--a journey they will never forget.
“We are Twenty One Pilots. And so are you.” ~Tyler Joseph
Text and photos by Joshua Weesner of Stand Up Alone Productions
For more information and upcoming tour dates, visit twentyonepilots.com