CONCERT REVIEW: Twenty One Pilots Bring "Trench" To Boston
Twenty One Pilots’ choice of opening acts separated the rhythms of their upbeat ukulele songs from their more abrasive, production-heavy tracks by selecting two openers with different sounds, which acted as an introduction to the fusion of the styles in their own music. Max Frost’s ability to loop his instruments and create the music before the audience’s eyes was reminiscent of Twenty One Pilots’ musical abilities and their attention to detail, from drums to ukulele, bass, piano, and their production. Frost’s musical talent and groovy rhythms were intriguing and left us excited for what was to follow in his set and those that came after. His singable lyrics were easy to learn and instilled a content excitement in the audience, like when what you’ve been waiting for is almost within your reach.
Following Max Frost, Awolnation took the stage. Their explosive lights and biting distorted guitar echoed through my chest with each bend of the strings, colliding with the singer’s aggressive vocals, and pierced my ears enthusiastically. Their charismatic singer was the center of attention, and their guitarist’s erratic movements behind him added to the insistent turbulence of their set. Their impatient rhythms were exciting, and the intense production, mixed with their thundering instruments, invigorated the audience. Their musical and physical performance was dramatic, and was improved by their involvement of the audience with their call and response lyrics, and the implementation of a stadium wide wave. Their explosive set and their attention to the audience was reflective of the care Twenty One Pilots also shares for their supporters.
From the song choice, to the production, performance, and audience interaction, Twenty One Pilots swept the crowd into a place where the music was the air we breathed and the blood in our arteries, and the music was circulating through us.
The 22 song setlist featured a large amount off their fifth album Trench. The new songs were just as technically and artistically complex and as entertaining as those they had been playing for years. The songs from Trench are new and have not been in previous shows before the Banditøs Tour. This excitement for how the songs will perform live, paired with the intricate alternative rhythms we have associated with Twenty One Pilots in the past, created a daze of anticipation throughout the crowd and every new song performed was like an exhilarating shock to our bodies. The assortment of Hits amongst fan favorites from Blurryface, Vessel, and Self-Titled alike was a gift to a dedicated listener like myself. Their flawless performance was incredible to hear live, and to see what went into the music I love was displayed in a way for all to see. The music Twenty One Pilots creates speaks for those who don’t know how to articulate their own feelings and develops the idea that there is a sound in the silence of those constantly unspoken.
Along with the aforementioned, the band’s appreciation for their audience has not dwindled with their rising fame, and they made that clear in their interaction with the audience. Whether it was talking to us about things specific to our city, like the Red Sox World Series game, or high fiving pit members, the band showed they paid attention to the concert-goers. They involved the audience with back and forth vocals and engaged everyone there, as well as thanking the people who have encouraged them. I admire their ability to thank those who look up to them and support them for their music and their actions.
I am not only impressed, but I feel so honored to have gone to this show. It was so carefully thought out and every detail was in place to improve the show and bring it to another level of excitement and importance. The boys put their heart into every movement and every sound and light and lyric and the extreme noise and joy of the audience only proved that fact to be true. This show is unforgettable, just like their music, and as I watched I could feel my heart pulsating with the music, because I truly had breathed it in.
Written by Elizabeth Miller
Photos by Melanie Gomez from the MSG show