Review and Photos by Marissa Bowen
Live music is back! You could feel in the air how much more it meant to everyone, to be able to share these moments together again. Everyone was just so happy and grateful to be there. This tour is called the Takeover Tour, where Twenty One Pilots spend a week in each city. They start out playing small venues that they played in their early days, then gradually move on to bigger venues, ending with an arena show. This type of tour gives such a unique experience that you don’t get when a band is in and out of cities daily. The production value grew but the intimacy remained. It was so exciting to see what things were added to the set as the venue size grew. Also, this is their first time touring with a backing band.
The openers were a good choice in providing similar vibes, while keeping their own uniqueness. The first band, Arrested Youth, had a similar style to some of TOP’s earlier music. The lead singer really spoke to the crowd and tried to set the show off right with getting everyone’s energy up. The second band, Half Alive, had a good mix of genres in their music and were very entertaining to watch. The lead singer has a background in dance, so while they are still a band, they incorporate dance in a really awesome way. They have two other members that came in and out, throughout the set, to perform dance routines with the lead singer. It was so cool to see how their bodies flowed together, and how in sync with each other they were. This added energy to the already hyped crowd.
I had the pleasure of going to three out of the four shows. The smallest venue had a 500 person capacity and it was impossible to get tickets. The second show was at the House of Blues. They packed that show out, but pretty much anywhere in the venue was a decent view. Even though I’ve been a long time fan of the band, this was my first show of theirs. It absolutely did not disappoint. They pulled out all of the stops. They were able to play so much of their discography by doing mashups of their songs. They also picked some really cool covers to add in that fit seamlessly with the set. They were so entertaining to watch. From Josh doing back flips off the piano, to Tyler running and completely leaping over the piano. Then, of course, it only got better as the night went on. Their shows are famous for their crowd interaction. A big part of that, for example, is when they bring the drum set out on a platform into the crowd and Josh does a drum solo. Tyler also comes into the crowd and is held up by fans while singing. It wouldn’t be a TOP show without ending the night with confetti filling the air.
The next night was at the Aragon Ballroom, one of my favorite venues in Chicago. You could tell the difference in the production as laser lights beamed across the crowd. This show they added Tyler completely jumping off stage at the end of a song into what looks like the oblivion, but was really a blow up mattress strategically placed. Another thing they added was Tyler making his way completely across the whole venue to the back where he climbed a tower to perform one of the last few songs.
The arena show was by far the most impressive in terms of production. It was such a big venue, but that didn’t stop them from making it intimate and interacting with the crowd. They made their way around the aisles of the venue giving fans high fives. There was a secondary stage at the back of the general admission floor that rose up out of the ground that Tyler performed a good portion of piano songs on. As well as another tower to climb. Halfway through the show, they do a campfire style jam. The first few nights with a fake fire and then the last night having a real campfire on stage. Also adding in bursts of flames that shot up during some of their crazier songs.
A lot of people were unsure of what having a band with them would mean but you could tell they were a huge hit with fans. All so incredibly talented with so many various instruments, really adding a lot of spice to the show. This was an experience that really meant a lot to so many people. I know that I, for one, will not be forgetting this anytime soon.