Twenty One Pilots w/ Misterwives & Vinyl Theatre
Some shows sound cool, some shows look cool. Some crowds go crazy, some crowds stay sane. Some performers perform for the crowd, some for themselves. Then, some are insane, the crowd goes insane, and the performers with them. Behold… Twenty One Pilots.
If I had to speak literally, Saturday night marked one of the best shows I have ever seen. Twenty One Pilots was an absolute riot, in the best possible way. Complete with confetti, strobes, crowd surfing, and some things I don’t even know what to call it, everyone loved it. There’s no denying.
Upon arriving on site at about noon, six hours before doors would open, I was greeted with already a healthily long line for the show, headed by some Salt Lake City kids who arrived at about five in the morning. Luckily for me, the Roseland is wide, so I was still able to grab a spot up front. However, by the time doors opened, the line waiting to enter the venue was the longest I’ve ever seen at a Roseland show. It wrapped around the building not once, but TWICE. It was craziness.
The night started off with indie alternative band Vinyl Theatre, much in the style of Magic Man or Night Terrors of 1927. Even though I only knew one track by these guys, I really enjoyed their set! They had some solid tunes, and their performance edge was perfectly sharp. A lot of energy, and the keyboardist even managed to get a hand stand in… while playing!
Vinyl Theatre had the crowd jumping, clapping, and warmed up nice for the night’s second opener, Misterwives.
Misterwives has become, since seeing them in December, one of my favorite bands! Their pop sound just makes me insanely happy. It’s feel good music in it’s essence, but builds itself to become something more. The Brooklyn band opened things up late last year for American Authors and The Royal Concept (a review you can read here). They absolutely stunned me the first time around, so I was beyond excited to hear they’d be opening up this show.
It’s really cool to see how they have grown in their sound, maturing to play larger venues such as Roseland and others across the tour. Lead singer Mandy Lee still holds the same energy and flare as she did at the Hawthorne, jumping around with her tambourine, and belting the tracks in the most beautiful manner.
Then, of course, you have the “Mister Wives” themselves, the band. They all seem to have matured in sound and in performance. It was a solid set, and the crowd, despite many not knowing them to begin, fell in love with their sound. (I was also happy to find out a debut album has been recorded, and it’s only a matter of time before it drops. Stay tuned…)
Once Misterwives cleared the stage, the vortex effect was in full motion. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when a sold out crowd (much like the one Saturday night), upon seeing the stage set up for the headline act, and anticipating the beginning of what they’ve been waiting for, gets sucked straight into front and center, becoming a small, concentrated mass of bodies focused on one particular spot. Lucky for me, I was one the edge, so I didn’t get caught in the middle. I just was able to move a little bit closer.
Twenty One Pilots came on strong, being introduced by their lightbulb friend, Nigel, who would make appearances later in the show. Coming out with their signature ski masks, the duo opened up with “Guns for Hands”, one of many, many strong tracks off their latest album, Vessel. Right from the get go, they had the crowd absolutely insane over them. They tracked straight into “Migraine”, which everyone rapped along to like pros, and then into “Ode to Sleep”, after first changing into their skeletal hoodies.
“Ode to Sleep” stood out to me in the set, because it felt like that’s when the ball dropped. Tyler leaps from the piano, flying through the air, and the crowd absolutely loses it. After a dark part of rap in the beginning of the track, he takes to the piano, showcasing the amazing genre blend Twenty One Pilots pulls of so well. In one track, they go from rap to punk to indie pop, and it’s a spectacular thing to behold.
After revealing faces, and tracking through a couple more songs, Tyler took to the ukulele to perform a little cover medley, assisted by their friend Nigel.
Nigel, reminiscing on his own life, began requesting tracks, giving us some covers of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win”, Ace Hood’s “Bugatti”, “Drunk in Love” by Queen B, and Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. This lead straight into “House of Gold”, probably Twenty One Pilot’s most acoustically accessible song.
Along the way to the blast of a finale, some highlights included a version of “Fall Away”, which included Misterwives’ own trumpet player, Dr. Blum. “Holding on to You” always stands out in a Twenty One Pilots show, which completes itself with crowd surfing, backflips, and a riot in the crowd harder than anything you’ve seen before.
Before taking to the encore, the duo ended things with a mashup of “Fake You Out” and Lana Del Rey’s “Summertime Sadness”, earning a well deserved scream reaction from the audience.
After a break, Twenty One Pilots came back to give their all during “Car Radio”, which climaxed with confetti canons, air blasts, and, all in an encore which seemed to be the most insane roller coaster ride of the century, drumming on top of the crowd with drums filled with water all while confetti blasted and smoke-like air shots in the background with strobing lights. Yeah, you don’t want to miss their second venture here.