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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

Twenty One Pilots take off on tour

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Fans sported red beanies at the recent Twenty One Pilots concert in Brooklyn (Photo by Rafa Dhelomme ’20).

“Stressed Out” singers put on a first-rate show


The year is 2009 in Columbus, Ohio, where a group of three boys got together to form what is now an internationally-successful band known as Twenty One Pilots. The band originally started with Tyler Joseph and former band members Nick Thomas and Chris Salih. Now, the group is composed of Joseph as the lead singer, bass and ukulele player, along with drummer Joshua Dun.

Before their hit “Stressed Out” was released in 2015, the band had already self-released two other albums not well-known by the public entitled “twenty one pilots,” released in 2009, and “Regional at Best,” released in 2011. Songs such as “Johnny Boy” and “Kitchen Sink” are not as famous as the new ones on their bestselling record “Blurryface.”

The most recent album, “Blurryface” is the second they’ve released through independent label Fueled by Ramen, was nominated for “Album of The Year” at the 2016 Alternative Press Music Awards and won “Top Rock Album” at the Billboard Music Awards,  bringing the uncategorized band to a whole new level of fame.

With fame came curiosity, and it was only a matter of time until someone asked, who is Blurryface? Who is this dark and mysterious character that led this record to become the hit that it is? During an interview with MTV, Joseph explained that Blurryface is a representation of his deep insecurities.

“There is a kind of a long description of who he [Blurryface] is, but it’s a character, and it’s a guy that kind of represents all the things that I, as an individual, and also everyone around me, are insecure about,” Joseph said.

Twenty One Pilots held a concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Jan. 20, 2017, carrying out their Emotional Roadshow World Tour, which has a future date in Allentown, Pa. With opening acts like Judah + The Lion and Jon Bellion, the mood was already set for what was expected to be an epic and energetic concert. With only two members, the band was under great pressure to present a memorable set to more than 10,000 people. But they decided to go beyond that.

With their usual painted black neck and hands, Joseph and Dun opened the concert with the radio hit “Heavydirtysoul,” mixing their most current album with the one they released back in 2013, “Vessel.” The lights were also part of the concert, coloring the crowd red and creating a different setting for each song.

It was as if every single move they made was planned. During the encore, “Goner” played to calm the crowd down, but the concert wasn’t over yet. Joseph and Dun still had more in them to make this concert legendary. The audience let them know the feeling was mutual by not missing a beat from the last song, “Trees.”

Soon, two wooden boards were given to each side of the crowd, security guards helping the fans hold them above their heads. This was not a surprise—rather, it was a tradition. Climbing up onto the boards, Dun and Joseph entered the crowd, walking and performing right above our heads, making this an experience as incredible for us as it was for them.

It was with a flurry of red confetti and to the sound of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” that I left that arena, a content smile on my face and a rush of energy flowing through my body, as I followed the sea of red beanies, meant to match Joseph’s, to the subway.

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