twenty øne piløts Take Over TD Garden
TØP hit Boston, Massachusetts on the Bandito Tour in support of their latest album Trench last week and took the city by storm from the moment they took the stage.
I’ve been lucky enough to have seen twenty one pilots a bunch of times in the past but that will never stop me from seeing them again whenever they go on tour. I have a lot of favorite bands/artists to see live but no one has ever come close twenty one pilots shows. They have the most intense energy that is few and far between.
In the past few years after releasing Blurryface, TØP blew up and are now one of the biggest bands on the scene. Because of this, their shows have gotten a lot bigger in every way— venues, production, fans. The Skeleton Clique (TØP’S fanbase) are known for being a little nuts when it comes to waiting in line to get barricade at their shows. Knowing this, we were prepared to get to the venue early in the morning to get a decent spot in the pit.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with Boston and the TD Garden, the Garden is the biggest arena in the city and its home of the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins and is situated above North Station (a rail and subway hub for many lines in and out of the city). Normally for concerts at the Garden, most or all of the tickets available are assigned seats, meaning no GA pits or standing areas. However for the twenty one pilots concert, the entire floor was GA standing. In preparation for this, the TD Garden went ahead and implemented a new policy that did not allow people to line up for GA until 5pm that day. Because they knew people would still arrive early, they gave out numbered wristbands from 7am-3pm and then told everyone to come back at 5pm to line up in order of the numbers on the wristband.
Originally I had planned wake up really early and get in line just before 7 to be one of the first to get a wristband but for one reason or another, we didn’t end up getting down to the Garden until about 9am, which is still crazy early! We got our wristbands and were around #350 (I can’t remember the exact number) and then went back home to relax until we had to go back to line up.
After sitting in a lot of Boston traffic, we finally made it to the GA line that wrapped around the venue and went down the street. In an effort to find our spot in the line, we asked a bunch of people what their numbers are and how people were lining up, after a while of realizing no one had any idea what they were doing (including security) we found a group that had the closest numbers to ours and got in line.
One of my favorite things about getting in line at a TØP show is seeing how everyone dresses up and makes such an effort to look the part—whether that be the black and red for Blurryface or yellow and green/army for Trench. From pre-teens to 20-somethings to parents, fans showed up in green trenchcoats, army print, with yellow tape and yellow beanies in unity with banditos, a fictional group of characters introduced in Trench.
Only a couple weeks after dropping Trench, I was worried the crowd might not know a lot of the new songs…or some of the oldies they might throw in the setlist. But I forgot this is the Clique we’re talking about.
The show started off with an explosive performance of Jumpsuit and Levitate with a burning car in the background similar to the music videos. Within the first two songs, everyone was out of breath with a smile on their face.
From there, Tyler pulled the Hometown trick from the previous era where he disappears on stage to moments later be singing in the stands where he unmasks for the first time. After that, the iconic red beanie came on stage for Stressed Out and Heathens.
Following the intense opener, Twenty One Pilots smoothly transitioned into their ukelele-focused part of the set, complete with Tyler’s rose kimono for We Don't Believe What's on TV and The Judge. This of course led to Tyler flipping the kimono over his head for a crowd favorite, Lane Boy. Definitely one of my favorite songs to see live, Lane Boy flawlessly turned the energy of the room back to 100.
The show’s production and stunts were insanely intricate and electric—surpassing previous tøp tours, which I thought was nearly impossible. This time instead of Tyler and Josh merely running over to the B stage, a suspended bridge came down and over the pit. About midway through Nico and the Niners, Tyler jumped up on the bridge where he finished the second half suspended over the energetic pit.
At the B stage, the duo performed an oldie but goodie, Taxi Cab, as well as two new songs, Neon Gravestones and Bandito. Like the rest of the show, the B stage was bigger than ever, complete with a huge four-sided projected screen above them to allow the entire arena to see the small stage on the floor. To get the band back to the main stage, the suspended bridge came down again for the high-energy, crowd-jumping song Pet Cheetah. Tyler sang and rapped most of the song from the bridge a couple feet above the pit, running and jumping on the thin platform before making his way back to the main stage to finish out the song.
Similar to the previous tours, the next song after the B stage set was Holding On To You. Tyler jumped in the front of the pit for the intro, and quickly made it back to the piano to meet with Josh who backflips off the piano mid-song. Between Tyler jumping into the crowd and over it on the bridge, the pit ended up moving around a lot and I ended up being in the second row for the rest of the show (I started in the 5th or 6th).
After HOTY, they brought out the openers, AWOLNATION and Max Frost for two covers and moved swiftly into Ride, My Blood, and Morph. During Morph, the crew brought out a second drum set to place in the crowd to allow fans to hold Josh up while he is drumming, similar to what he did for Ride on their recent tours. Of course, he started drumming after the point in the song that sings, not done, not done, not done, JOSH DUN!
The concert concluded with Car Radio, Leave The City, and the iconic closer, Trees, complete with Tyler and Josh jumping on platforms held up by the crowd and drumming the last part of the song with confetti flying everywhere.
Overall, the concert was one to remember and although I’ve seen this band before, this show somehow topped all the rest. The workings inside these two people’s minds to think of the creative and inspiring lyrics, melodies, production, and theatrics of this tour is something I can’t wrap my head around. twenty one pilots are leading the industry and if you have or haven’t seen this band live before, you need to make sure you’re at their next show.
In the words of Tyler after every show, “We’re twenty one pilots and so are you. See you next time.”
The Bandito Tour Setlist:
We Don’t Believe What’s On TV
Nico and the Niners (bridge to B stage)
Taxi Cab (B stage)
Neon Gravestones (B stage)
Bandito (B stage)
Pet Cheetah (bridge back to main stage)
Holding On To You (Tyler in pit)
Hey Jude (cover)
Morph (Josh in pit)
Leave The City (encore)