Review: twenty one pilots at The SSE Arena, Wembley


A memorable and joyous experience surrounded by "the few, the proud and the emotional".

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After the release of their album Blurryface in 2015, twenty one pilots have experienced fame that they never expected. The duo, consisting of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, formed in 2009 and performed some of their biggest shows in the UK ever at The SSE Arena in Wembley from the 7th to the 9th March, selling out all three shows.

Supporting were the Californian punk rock band The Regrettes, performing many of their hits including ‘California Friends’, which perfectly rallied up the audience in time for the main act. Their energetic movements across the stage, combined with the consistent layers of guitar, created a magnificent feeling throughout the arena.

Opening with ‘Jumpsuit’, the crowd burst into elation in witnessing the intense stage design with Tyler and Josh performing alongside a burning car – an obvious correlation to the music video. ‘Jumpsuit’ was the first single to be released from their most recent album Trench, launched in summer 2018, and was a great start in demonstrating how much this album exploits the capabilities of multiple instruments, particularly Tyler’s vocal range.

Although the majority of the setlist was taken from Trench, some clear crowd favourites were those from Vessel, including ‘Holding Onto You’ and ‘Car Radio’ which sparked much excitement, particularly from us older fans. One huge reason that twenty one pilots have such an immense fanbase is the eclecticism and diversity within their music; from ukuleles and flowery kimonos to electric guitars and consistent drum beats, the duo satisfy multiple genres.

A memorable moment was their performance of ‘Fairly Local’, in which the lyrics “the few, the proud, and the emotional” were sung by over 10,000 people; certainly a demonstration of their exceedingly expansive growth as a band. Alongside their famous hits, Tyler also performed his cover of Elvis’ ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’, which created the beautiful sight of lighters and torches in sync across the entire arena; it is safe to say that their shows really do have something for everyone.

Tyler maintained the perfect amount of interaction with the audience: moving to the middle stage, commenting on Josh’s use of the walkway to the stage and also commenting on the fact that it was international women’s day (which left the crowd screaming in encouragement). An especially humorous moment experienced across the arena was our pathetic attempt at ‘The Quiet Game’, a little challenge Tyler and Josh set each audience of their current 2019 tour with an aim to stay as quiet as possible. Night one of Wembley apparently managed just over two seconds, however our crowd produced a failing 1.17 seconds, which created an obviously disappointed reaction from the two.

The usual allusive presence of Josh Dun on stage always creates such a powerful atmosphere as the audience are encompassed within his intense drumming, whilst Tyler generally enjoys centre stage. With his seemingly never-ending energy, the band create an immense visual depiction of their music. A particular crowd favourite was his fall into the centre of the stage and then sudden reappearance on the side of the balcony of seats, leaving those not in the pit to experience the powerful presence of Tyler Joseph. His adventurous climbing onto steep, high surfaces has been a popular stunt throughout their tours over the years and coincided with Josh’s famous back-flip off the piano in ‘Holding Onto You’. The crowd really do get an insight into the energy, perseverance and enjoyment channelled into their music.

Concluding with ‘Trees’, the boys generated a particularly emotive response from the audience, with many members of the pit having the honoured responsibility of supporting both Tyler and Josh on their platforms during their famous synchronised drum duo. The final bow on stage from them both was certainly a moment to remember, with thousands left excitedly screaming.

Watch the video for ‘Jumpsuit’ below.


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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

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