On August 10th I attended 21 Pilot’s concert at Madison Square Garden with two of my dearest friends. All three of us have been dedicated fans of them since three or more years ago when they were barely filling the underground venue many rising artists start at, Terminal 5.
If you’re unfamiliar with 21 Pilots (where were you when they had an epic performance with A$AP Rocky during the 2015 VMAs) they are comprised of drummer Josh Dun and singer Tyler Joseph. They also happen to be best friends and lyrical geniuses. Although they are just two people, they produce some of the best alternative pop music to ever grace my ears. Discussing topics such as loss, mental illness, and deeper meanings in seemingly everyday objects (aka their song Kitchen Sink or Car Radio), I’ve been in love since first listen.
When they performed in smaller venues such as Terminal 5, their personalities shown. They connected with every audience member thrashing around, craning to touch them from the moshpit. Josh and his drums would come out into the audience. They had a gritty style that made everyone feel something and draw together. Do you feel like an outcast? A weirdo? Do you connect with lyrics and chest vibrating beats? All of this meant you would be in love with 21 Pilots.
MSG is a huge venue, so I feared some of 21 Pilots personality would benlost but boy was I wrong. Both of them managed to still connect with the audience by utilizing a smaller stage in the middle of the GA pit, and when Tyler appeared in one of the tiers for a song. They played oldies but goodies which validated the fans that had been there since the start while also choosing crowd pleasers or radio famous songs such as Car Radio, Migraine, and Message Man. Another big crowd pleaser they featured was Heathens, featured in the movie “Suicide Squad”.
Besides showing their distinct style through, well their own music, they also had a nice array of songs that they covered. For instance, they covered Twist and Shout (originally performed by The Top Knots), My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion), Love Yourself (yes, Justin Bieber), and Jump Around (House of Pain). The section of the show full of covers allowed them to put their own twist on iconic or popular songs and really got the whole crowd on their feet!!! Tyler and Josh also brought out lesser known opening acts to support their series of covers Mutemath and Chef’s Special. Other antics included their signature ski masks, great stage graphics, confetti cannons, fire, getting Josh out over the crowd, and having Tyler run in across the hands of the crowd in a human sized hamster ball contraption.
Despite the fact that I wasn’t in the center of the mosh pit, or front row as in previous concerts, I felt every song in my heart and mind. |-/
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