LIVE REVIEW: Twenty One Pilots // Indianapolis, IN


By Kristina Balboa


Last week the power team of Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun, or better known as Twenty One Pilots, played a show at White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Not only was this a sold out show but it also happened to be at the biggest venue the band has ever been booked at while playing in Indy!

The boys of Twenty One Pilots are currently touring along with two opening acts; Finish Ticket and Echosmith.

Finish Ticket is a relatively new alternative/ rock band from Alameda, California. Also from Cali, Echosmith has been on the rise of fame ever since the 2013 release of their songs “Cool Kids” and “Bright”.

Although I was disappointed Twenty One Pilots did not perform their first debuted song off of the Blurryface album, “Fairly Local”, they still managed to put on an amazing show and have continued to be my favorite performers to see live and here’s 10 reasons why:

  1. Quick starts and adrenaline rushes: There was no long back story as to whom Tyler Joseph (lead singer and instrumentalist) and Josh Dun (drummer and cat lover) were. One minute I’m talking about my expectations of the show and the next they were being exceeded as “Heavydirtysoul” began. There was no standing around with the performers on stage, tuning their instruments. The moment you saw them, the moment the show started. Not only was it an unexpectedly quick start but it gave a bit of an adrenaline rush.
  1. Oldies mash-ups: Combining the current album of Blurryface with older albums like Vessel and the self-titled album of Twenty One Pilots was a nice touch to the set list. It gave the new fans something they never heard of and the old fans a sense of nothing ever changing. The mash-up included songs such as “Hometown”, “The Pantaloon”, “Addict with a Pen”, “Screen”, and a few more.
  1. Crowd standing: What better way can a band incorporate their fans into a set then by actually getting off stage and emerging themselves into the crowd? Crowd surfing is too cliché for this two-man band, instead Tyler will stand on the hands of fans as they hold him up above the pit. It is quite astonishing how much faith both the fans and band carry within each other.
  1. Song intros: Songs “Lane Boy” and “Ride” both had very memorable introductions. At the intro of “Ride” a screen played a video of a body moving the woods. This scene was very similar to the music video for this song. A face covered in red, black, and white appeared halfway. This was the face of Blurryface himself; a representation of Tyler’s insecurities. The intro of “Lane Boy” was a deep voice over speakers talking about kneeling to the concepts of control and temptations. This also was depicted in the song’s music video.
  1. Drum solos: Serious props goes out to anyone who got any decent photos of Josh Dun as he was performing. With all the slamming and jamming going on, any photos I was able to catch ended up blurry. Promotional tactic? Maybe.. These amazing drum solos in between every couple of songs led to chants as people called out “JOSH DUN! JOSH DUN! JOSH DUN!”. Those chants went on for quite a while.
  1. Metaphors emphasized throughout: Twenty One Pilots are known for their songs with references to schizophrenia, low self-esteem, depression, and overcoming those things. Although the band’s simple message of staying alive has not changed their message is explained in a way that’s a little more hidden and although their fan base is growing rapidly, not all will understand.
  1. Fans are friends: Twenty One Pilots refers to their fans as their ‘clique’. Just like in high school when the lunch room gets separated between the jocks, the drama kids, the band nerds, and who-knows-what-else; Tyler Joseph and Joshua Dun have created a clique of their own. Kids with black hand and neck paint, red eye make-up and beanies, and floral kimonos united singing every single word to every single song without as little as a pause for air.
  1. Powerful moments: The first powerful moment I felt came when Tyler looked out into a crowd as yelled “Is anyone out there?”. He received a reply of 20,000+ people screaming back. That’s a sound you can feel. You feel the presence of everyone around you and that’s a pretty powerful feeling. A few more moments of awe came during the songs “Guns for Hands” and “Run and Go”. Throughout the song “Guns for Hands”, there is a lyric that talks about turning guns into fists and at that moment everyone in front of me and on either side threw a fist in the air and held it up as the park turned to silence; it was crazy to see so many people who felt the same about music in one confined space. The last really conforming moment the clique had was during the song “Run and Go” was when Tyler told everyone to find a partner, then when he told them to get up one person would hop on the other person’s shoulders. This moment is when you realize how big the crowd actually was. As you look around, you could see how far back the lawn went and how many of thousands of people were behind you.
  1. Car radio: This song will always be a fan favorite live. Tyler disappears off of stage and is found climbing things he probably shouldn’t be as Josh stays back with his drums on stage; necessary to know both are wearing ski masks. Everyone turned to face Tyler and he sung / screamed. Those who were in the very back were suddenly front row. When he says keep one hand up you best believe there was no focusing your camera unless you were able to do so one-handed. From there everyone followed Ty as he drastically moved his arm up and down along with the beat. By the end of the song Tyler was on his knees, ski mask in hand.
  1. Trees: The show, two world tours in a row, ended with a huge finale to the song “Trees”. The song is just as good as any other and then both members end up carrying drums into the crowd. Not only do fans hold Josh and Tyler above the crowd but they support the drums as well and in perfect time pounding in sync as confetti shoots out from who-knows-where because you’re too busy being stunned by the beauty of everything going on in front, or if you’re lucky, above you.

My recent experience seeing Twenty One Pilots on their current tour, the Blurryface tour, was surreal and unforgettable. For upcoming tour dates, music, and more check official website:


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