As 2018 draws to a close there’s one band that many Australian’s have been waiting to see. That band is American duo Twenty One Pilots and tonight it’s finally Sydney’s turn to experience their brilliant live show. After seeing the band a few times before and watching their evolution from being a support act to headlining club shows to now headlining arenas I was excited to see what they had in store. It was a hot Sydney afternoon as thousands of Twenty One Pilots fans descended onto Qudos Bank Arena in Homebush many wearing variations of yellow celebrating the bands merch.
Opening up the show was Aussie hip hop act Drapht who did an adequate job entertaining the crowd. Although I couldn’t help feeling that it was an odd choice for a support since the audience in majority was quite young and didn’t seem to know the songs. But that aside tonight was all about Twenty One Pilots, their cult like fanbase were all packed into the venue awaiting the appearance of their heroes Tyler and Josh. After a short break the room was reaching fever pitch as the duo emerged with Josh carrying a torch flame and Tyler perched above a flaming car on stage this set the tone for the theatrics of the night that would follow.
Kicking off the setlist they started with the song “Jumpsuit” taken from their new album Trench. Following that up with another new one “Levitate”. As the night would go on they would play songs from all their releases but with the majority taken form their newest album. Their new album is more ambitious and experimental so I was interested to see how the songs would flow in the setlist and was pleasantly surprised. Some big crowd favourite set highlights came in the form of “Stressed Out”, “Heathens” and “Car Radio”.
I was blown away by the level of production behind the show. With the stage lighting changing dramatically for each song, outfit changes and even Tyler almost by magic disappearing from the stage and reappearing in the back of the arena. A personal highlight was the moments just involving Tyler singing while playing a ukulele it proved why thousands where captivated and we couldn’t help falling in love with these pilots.
The setlist finished with the song “Trees” which they have used to close out their shows for the last few years. The song is a brilliant way to send us out into the night as confetti cannons and smoke machine shoot out a yellow glowing burst all over the arena. All whilst Tyler and Josh are both literally standing on top of the crowd drumming. They take a final bow as the song ends as you can feel the shared euphoria between the band and audience. This was one of the absolute best concerts of 2018. Twenty One Pilots just keep getting better. There’s one more date on the 2018 Australia tour left on Tuesday 18th December so ride on up to Brisvegas, grab your Banditos and make your way to Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
Photos & review by Christian Ross