Photography: Twenty One Pilots

Posted: by The Editor

Twenty One Pilots took their “Bandito” tour to Atlantic City on Saturday, June 8th. It’s been said that these guys know how to put on a show, and they did not disappoint. 

     As the lights dimmed and the curtain covering the stage dropped, drummer Josh Dun was greeted by a sea of fans as well as tidal wave of screams as he stood still, facing the crowd with a blazing torch. He gazed over the crowd before approaching his drum set, with lead vocalist Tyler Joseph rising from below the stage atop a car. The song “Jumpsuit” began to play, and the car burst into flames with a heat so strong that even the farthest seat in the venue could have felt it. The post-apocalyptic stage set up was the perfect scene for such a heavy hitting opening song. 

     Mid way through the set, the band crossed a catwalk to the second stage in the center of the roaring crowd of fans. The lights that hung above them set the tone for tracks such as “Neon Gravestones” and “Smithereens” as they flickered overhead to mimic rain drops.  

Tyler Joseph not only captured the base attention of the crowd with his ability to make them feel involved, but also by providing a warming message before playing “Legend:” “I wrote this song for my grandfather,” he said. “He passed away last year. If he taught me one thing, it’s worth fighting to the bitter end.”

     Drummer Joshua Dun was revealed on his way back on the catwalk over the crowd in a white t shirt with “Atlantic City” written on it in marker. The duo continued to wow the crowd with their breathtaking light show and theatrics. Dun’s drum kit was on a lift, and would rise upwards to 30 feet high for his drum solos as he unleashed a drum beat that shook the arena floor. 

      This show was especially important to lead singer Joseph, as he said “Tonight is a special show for me because my family is here.” He went on to say, “It seems too easy to dedicate this next song to them, so I’m not gonna do that.” The crowd roared with laughter as he followed it up by saying, “If you were born in the month of May let me hear you.” A wave of screams then filled the stadium and he continued his witty bit by then saying, “If you were NOT born in the month of May this song is for you.”

Joseph definitely deserves credit for his ability to transition through multiple different vocal styles in songs such as the funky “Nico and the Niners”, to his heavy hitting fast raps in “Lane Boy” to the piano ballad “Bandito”. He executed each song flawlessly, all while bouncing around the stage, keeping the crowd engaged. To add to the excitement, Dun then crowd surfed an entire drum kit above the fans on the floor in the beginning of “Car Radio,” which morphed into a fierce drum solo.

To end the show, Joseph and Dun returned to the floor, each with a drum for the powerful ending of the song “Trees.” An explosion of yellow confetti filled the arena as their drum solo battled against the roar of the fans to end the night. 

     Joseph and Dun impressed both myself and everyone else in the arena with the unexpected strength of how accessible the show was: two guys were somehow able to get up close and personal with their fans and make everyone in a packed arena (that’s far from an intimate setting) feel like they were the only person in the room. They ended the night with a bow as lead singer Tyler expresses his gratitude, saying “We’re Twenty One Pilots and so are you. We’ll see you soon.”

Take a listen to Trench while you check out the pictures below!


Sarah Holick//@babytayto