Before the show had even begun there was already a buzz about, the crowd lined up for merch then moved along to eagerly await the dynamic duo of Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph. Almost everyone that I witnessed both on public transport and outside Rod Laver Arena had something relating to Twenty-One Pilots on. I noticed a trend of camouflage, yellow clothing and stripes being worn by a large amount of the die-heart fans, some going to the extreme length of dying their own hair bright yellow, two trends I myself failed to uphold, making me feel a tad out of place.
As the seats and floor started filling slowly, the opening act for the night took to the stage. Drapht (AKA Paul Reid) an Australian local that made the trip all the way from Perth. He started the night off by welcoming us all and giving an introduction from himself and his guitarist, Timothy Nelson. The set kicked off with Sing It (The Life of Riley), pumping up the crowd firstly but getting everyone in the pit to wave and clap their hands along with him, psyching everyone for what was to come later. Three songs into the set, Drapht invited Timothy to drop the strings and perform the song that they share on his new album Arabella Street. The portion of the crowd that knew Drapht was up the front and waving their arms with Paul for all six of the songs that they got to perform in their half-hour set. I think it’s easy to say that their popularity will be getting a rise after this tour.
The crowd buzzed and grew, filling up the whole arena while the 30-minute wait (that felt like hours) was used to set the stage up. Twenty-One Pilots were back in Melbourne tonight on The Bandito Tour promoting their new album Trench that blessed this world and all ears who heard it.
Finally, the build-up track started, lights went out and everyone went crazy as Mr. Josh Dun took the stage in his hoodie and a bandana covering his face like a bandito, holding a flaming torch and walking across the stage. Just like magic, the one and only Tyler Joseph seemed to appear standing on a car in the middle of the stage with his famous mask on.
The night kicked off with the first song from their new album Jumpsuit. As soon as Josh laid down the beat and the lights started flashing, the car that Tyler was once standing on lit on fire, gaining screams and cheers from the adoring fans, myself included. Towards the end of this song, Tyler went to his piano, slowing the song right down and playing and singing slowly.
If I was to sit here and talk about every song that they played, we’d be here all day; so I’ll just fangirl over the best bits of the night. During the third song of the night Fairly Local, Tyler danced his way over to his piano and sat down as a member of the crew came and placed a sheet over Tyler’s body and piano. With the drop of the song, he disappeared and then seconds later re-appeared 30 rows up to the left of the stage standing in the crowd still singing until the end of the song where he took his mask off, revealing his adorable face.
Three songs later Tyler performed a cover of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling in Love on the ukulele as a tour debut and honestly, I have never heard anything as beautiful. Another amazing song performed and executed was Car Radio towards the end of the night. Starting off the song perfectly with the little rap that everyone knew all too well. This was one of the biggest songs that went off, absolutely everyone in the whole arena was singing and rapping their hearts out and sounding so amazing as a collective. At the end of the song, Tyler hit us with a little more magic as he disappeared from the stage and started to climb up on a ledge that was RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! He stood up on it and said hi to all sides of the crowd and finished off the song hard.
Although this concert played primarily their old songs, it was for their album Trench, and the songs that they did perform from that album were absolutely fantastic and it’s easy to say why the crowd went insane to every single song. I think Pet Cheetah was the best song performed from their new album as it just went off and had the whole audience singing at the top of their voices and dancing and jumping, the lighting was perfect, and it was performed better than it sounds on the track.
It’s little things that made the concert as good as it was. Tyler singing with his shirt over his head, jumping on top his piano, all his dancing, and how he constantly changed outfits to fit the songs. Also squaring up with the camera so it was projected on the big screens, standing at the edge of the crowd singing, and even making us boo at his lighting guy. And the way that Josh had so much energy drumming and flailing his arms everywhere, the backflip he did from the piano, how he constantly held a drumstick in the air or to his face, playing trumpet (which I wasn’t aware he could even do!) during We Don’t Believe What’s on TV, and of course… Josh getting shirtless!
The night turned out perfect and it was purely amazing to be able to look around and see as many people in one place to support the same thing and all there for the same reason. Looking around all I saw was phone lights, torches, and happy faces. It was the best night and I can’t wait to see them next time and hear what new music is to come.
Review Contributed by Miranda Allan
Gallery by Matt Allan