Four years ago I was packing into the grungy interior of The Zoo to witness Twenty One Pilots play their first headline Brisbane show to a sold out 500 person capacity. Flash forward to 2018 and oh, how times have changed. ‘The Bandito Tour’ marks the dynamic duo’s sixth trip to Australia and their fanbase is continually evolving and growing with a passionate crowd that is very diverse with age. Looking around the arena of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, some long-term fans are sporting old tour shirts whilst new fans are proudly repping the ‘Trench’ era colours of yellow and black.
As the lights dimmed and the synths got louder, the curtain covering the stage dropped to reveal a car on fire as drummer Josh Dunn walked out with a ski mask on whilst holding a flame torch. Making his way across the stage to his drum kit, lead singer Tyler Joseph appeared at the back of the stage in the shadows before ‘Jumpsuit’ and ‘Levitiate’ ignited the beginning of the two hour show with confetti falling from the roof.
Throwing it back to their first mainstream hit ‘Fairly Local’, they decided to show the audience exactly what they were in for. In amongst the incredible light and visual show that was happening around them and the multiple costume changes, Tyler performed a little Houdini magic trick which saw him disappear from the stage and re-appear at the back of the arena seconds later. And from there the hits and fan favourites began to roll with ‘Stressed Out’, ‘Heathens’, ‘We Don’t Believe What’s On TV’, ‘The Judge’ and ‘Lane Boy’ following suit. But this show was in support of their new record and they didn’t forget about them with ‘Nico And The Niners’, ‘Neon Gravestones’ and ‘Pet Cheetah’ receiving a good response from the excited crowd. As the mosh pitt tightened and the jumping didn’t cease to stop, the fans in the seats around the arena stood up and equally participated in their energetic production. Making sure they weren’t leaving anyone out, they continually jumped down to the crowd, with Josh even crowd surfing whilst playing a drum kit which was super impressive.
But the new material didn’t seem to hold the same engagement or impact that their old material did. As soon as the opening chords of ‘Holding Onto You’ and ‘Ride’ began, the crowd respectfully lost their minds before holding back a little during the synth lead ‘My Blood’ and ‘Morph’. With the end of the show creeping closer ‘Car Radio’ got the singalong it deserved with Tyler running through the crowd and climbing a production pole at the back of the arena for one last wholesome connection.
Returning to the main stage, ‘Leave The City’ solemnly opened the encore before they thanked the crowd for coming along to see them. They acknowledged their long-term fans and dedicated the last song ‘Trees’ to them as they have been playing it as their final encore for over 4 years now. As the last chorus came in they both climbed into the mosh pitt again and started banging portable drums as confetti and CO’2 cannons erupted. Taking one final bow they yelled out to the crowd “We are Twenty One Pilots and so are you” as they walked off stage leaving the energy at a super high. Whether you knew all their songs or not, you couldn’t help but walk away impressed by the level of production this genre diverse duo put together. However nothing will ever beat those super intimate early shows of their career which seems like a lifetime ago now.