twenty one pilots w/ Echosmith and Finish Ticket
Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA
To be perfectly honest, I was not a Twenty One Pilots fan. I couldn’t tell you a single song of theirs. So with no expectations about either their music or their performance, I walked into The Paramount Theatre and proceeded to watch as this twosome from Ohio made mincemeat of live rock shows. From the moment that vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun hit the stage, opening with the frenzied “Heavydirtysoul,” the crowd was singing along at the top of their lungs.
Their masked faces, a mic hanging from the rafters, Joseph catapulting over and off of the piano, TOP are here to put on a real show. Their schizophrenic pop music – which turns poetic songwriting into high-powered alt hip hop – provides the perfect backdrop for serious stage antics, the smoke canons, the strobe lights, the outfit changes, the two guys in hazmat suits who suddenly exploded out of nowhere.
The guys worked their way through a heavy set list, their energy growing even as the show went on. There was a tender moment of acoustic jamming on a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and then they went right back into their kaleidoscopic showmanship. For a medley of older songs, TOP brought a mini drum set and piano together on a tall center platform, and then Dun did a backflip off the piano as they started “Holding On to You.” There’s a few tracks with a reggae flair, a lot of tempo changes, Joseph’s quick fire lyrics spat to a strong beat. They’re a bit like an alt-bro-version of Matt & Kim, with humor and passion and nonstop energy, and they appear to sincerely care about each other.
During “The Run and Go” the guys got the audience to make friends and get on each other’s shoulders, then they closed the set with “Car Radio” as Joseph sprinted to the balcony and sang off the edge. A two song encore had both guys playing on floating boards over the crowd, confetti in the air, smoke billowing through the room, as the audience – for not the first time that night – boosted the band high overhead. Frankly, while their music still might not hit the top of my personal playlist, their show is one I would be sorry to miss ever again.
Opening the show were Finish Ticket and Echosmith. Finish Ticket has a big hometown following in the Bay Area, and they definitely showed off their indie rock chops. They’re banging on the door that bands like Young The Giant, Foster The People, and Arctic Monkeys have opened, putting out hypnotizing pop rock with impressive energy. Their new EP is out now and I’m sure their audience will only continue to grow.
Filling the night’s middle slot were Echosmith. While the four-sibling pop outfit were down one, they filled in and put on a solid set of tracks from their debut 2013 Album Talking Dreams. The band makes catchy music that’s hard to argue with, as evidenced by their platinum-selling track “Cool Kids” which might be the most ear-wormy song to come out in the last five years. It will be interesting to see where they go from here.
Keep an eye on Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface tour dates here.
twenty one pilots Set List
Guns for Hands
House of Gold (intro)
We Don’t Believe What’s on TV
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover)
Piano + Drum Medley: The Pantaloon, Semi-Automatic, Forest, Screen, Ode to Sleep, Addict with a Pen, Screen
Holding on to You
The Run and Go
Tear in My Heart
Review by Stephanie Dore
Photos by Logan Westom