When I first heard twenty one pilots, I was some lonely girl in 2010 who had gone through a stupid little break up. I was trying on clothes and I heard Holding Onto You in a dressing room. I remember thinking to myself, “wow, okay, wow, I really like this song”. So I pulled out my phone and shazamed it. I saved it and listened to it a ton, and a few more of their songs would cycle through my spotify radio every now and then. A few years later I heard Migraine while at a friends house. Coincidentally I had been suffering from not only mild depression but from severe migraines. I was reminded of how great tøp was, and from that moment on I continued to listen to all of their albums as if my life depended on it.
I know every lyric of every song. If you ask any of my friends, they all know it’s true. Three nights ago I had the wonderful experience of seeing twenty one pilots live in concert at their emotional roadshow. Let me tell you, there’s a reason it’s called the emotional roadshow. I didn’t just cry, I sobbed.
You see, there’s something about hearing them live; something about seeing them in person. And it’s not like I have any strange infatuation with Joshua Dun or Tyler Joseph as individual people (although I wouldn’t decline the offer to meet them in person). But seeing the people who’s words and music carried you through such a tough time means something. There was a girl sitting behind me at the concert. We exchanged a few words before the opening act Chef’Special came on. In those exchanging of words, we discovered that twenty one pilots helped us both. She was shaking because she was so anxious to see the band that carried her through her darkness. Throughout the concert I would turn back to see her sobbing into her hands, her boyfriends arm wrapped around her shoulder reminding her to open her eyes or else she’d miss the concert. Every so often, my friend Katie would look over at me and ask me if I was okay because I was crying my eyes out. Each time she asked my answer was “yes, I’m great! Just emotional!”. Except the last time she asked my answer should have been “no, I’m not okay. I don’t want this to end”.
One of my favorite parts about the concert was that for eleven minutes, Tyler and Josh moved to stage B and played their “older songs”. Now I love blurryface just as much as the next person, but I’m a huge fan of Regional at Best. So when I heard the intro to Ode to Sleep, I just about lost it. I heard Forest and Kitchen Sink, two of my all time favorite songs by tøp. I could tell that a lot of the audience didn’t recognize the songs, and I didn’t expect them to. When you have a band release an awesome album with great singles and an awesome tour, you’re going to have some concert-goers who don’t know a good majority of the songs on the set-list. I started to really think about that though. Josh and Tyler didn’t need to add those extra eleven minutes. They didn’t need to fill their set list with their oldies. So why do they do it? I think that they do it for the same reason they go from city to city to city, day after day after day doing the same exact show. They do it for the same reason they write and play music to begin with. They do it for us.
I looked around the Amway center during the encore and saw an entire arena practically in tears. Each person in that arena had been touched by twenty one pilots. Whether it had been before that night or on that night or in that very moment. Their music inspires people and it helps people realize that life has a hopeful undertone.