By Meghan Bobrowsky,
The power duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, also known as Twenty One Pilots, stopped by Sacramento on Saturday, Feb. 11 as a part of their “Emotional Roadshow” tour that started in Rhode Island on Jan. 17. The Ohio natives put on the show of their lives after performances from Judah & the Lion and Jon Bellion.
A merchandise tent was staked outside the entrance to the new Golden One Center, where the lines winded around the corner. Over 10,000 people showed up, sporting red beanies, black t-shirts and floral shawls– the signature Twenty One Pilots look.
After scanning my pre-purchased ticket, I was directed to my seat, which overlooked the whole stadium. The view was spectacular, and I grew antsy after waiting two hours for the main act to take the stage.
A few minutes before 9 p.m., the curtain dropped and the crowd erupted into applause. Twenty One Pilots entered the stage with black ski masks, which they ripped off as they reached the climax of one of their best-known songs, “Heavydirtysoul,” from the 2015 album “Blurryface.” The band encouraged the audience to stand up and sway their arms– everyone obliged.
Graphics on the screen then distracted audience members while Joseph snuck to the top stands, surprising fans when the spotlight beamed on him. He sang from the nose-bleed seats while Dun hammered away on the drums below on stage.
After an hour of favorites from “Blurryface” and the 2013 album “Vessel,” Joseph made a strange request — to play Mario Kart 64 onstage with a local champion named Skyler. The crowd watched in awe as Joseph pulled ahead, lost the lead and somehow managed to retain it.
Three intense laps later, Joseph was crowned the new Sacramento area Mario Kart 64 champion, and the show resumed with “Tear in My Heart,” a song Joseph dedicated to his wife, Jenna Black.
I thought the crowd could not cheer any louder, but they proved me wrong when the band played the introduction to “Stressed Out,” a recent radio hit which garnered eight nominations including a Grammy for Record of the Year.
The band continued to spice up the concert: Dun participated in a drum solo competition with a previously-recorded video of himself onscreen while Joseph sprinted across the stadium to another stage to play his heart out on the piano.
As midnight neared, the show grew increasingly unpredictable and exciting. Dun took a break from his shirtless drumming to climb into a human-sized hamster ball and roll across the crowd gathered near the stage — the most memorable part of the concert.
The show concluded 10 minutes later, but the crowd did not accept the end of the sensational night. Chants of “TOP” and standing ovations coerced the dynamic duo to mount the stage for one last song, “Trees,” from their 2011 album “Regional at Best.”
When the lights flicked on, I was transported back to reality and instantly yearned to hear more of Joseph’s angelic voice and Dun’s dramatic drum solos. The tickets were pricey, and the wait was two hours. But Twenty One Pilots ushered away all my concerns with their phenomenal stunts and authentic musical talents.
This show was something I would not think twice about attending again.