As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Sunday night concerts are a little odd, but nonetheless enjoyable. Yesterday, we saw twenty one pilots at their biggest headlining show in Toronto (it was sold out!).
I constantly forget that I’ve actually seen TOP before, two years ago when they opened for Fall Out Boy, but since I spent most of their set standing in the Panic! at the Disco merch line, I only heard them. It’s a different experience actually seeing them.
Because the line to get into the venue stretched literally around the corner (the longest line I’ve ever stood in to get into the Sound Academy, and we purposely showed up 15 minutes after doors opened!), we missed the very first band. I think it was a local band, but I feel sorry for them because there was probably only a handful of people in the crowd (seriously, we stood in line for almost an hour!).
We made it inside in time to see Echosmith. I like Echosmith – I saw them headline in March – and while they are a fun, poppy band, they seemed like such an odd choice to open for TOP. They still put on a great show, and played quite a long set for an opening band (about 40 minutes or so).
TOP came out just after 9pm and the venue exploded. Not literally, of course, but from where I was standing (in the barricade 19+ area), all I could see were flailing hands as the crowd pushed and danced and screamed for these two dudes from Ohio.
They opened with “Heavydirtysoul”, which is also the opening track on their latest album, Blurryface. Just as it did with the album, the song set the pace for the rest of the night.
The show was energetic and well produced (I sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I really don’t). The lights were amazing, the smoke effects were cool, and I’m still trying to figure out if Josh Dun actually drummed while being held up by the crowd or if there was a mini catwalk that I couldn’t see.
I haven’t been a TOP fan long enough to know all the words to all the songs; I know most of Blurryface, but there are certain songs from 2013’s Vessel that I only kind of know. One such song is “Migraine”: I know the chorus, but I was unable to keep up with the crowd as they screamed the first verse while Tyler Joseph held the mic out. Next time, you guys.
My favourite part of the set, music-wise, was right at the beginning when they segued from “Stressed Out” in “Guns for Hands”, my two favourite TOP songs. I also really enjoyed the medley of songs they played in the middle of the set; I recognized most of the songs, but I couldn’t tell you what they’re called.
I also found it really interesting that, while they played most of Blurryface, they didn’t play their first single from it, “Fairly Local”. I had been looking forward to hearing it, and it was surprising that they left it off the setlist.
Their mini encore was excellent: while “Goner” is a slower song, it has a final burst of energy that brings everything together, and “Trees” was fantastic – the drum-off, the confetti, the rollicking crowd…it was all very well done.
If you want to feel like you’re at a rave without actually being at a rave (not that I know what being at a rave is like), I recommend seeing twenty one pilots live.