Twenty One Pilots 6/16 at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA - Review For NECR

September 16, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

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Photographing live music is my passion.  I love seeing and shooting all different genres of music.  But it’s a special day when I get to cover an artist that I am actually a big fan of.  I’ve been following Twenty One Pilots since I saw them perform their song “Car Radio” when watching the MTV VMA’s with my daughter last year.  Tyler Joseph grabbed my attention from the get go… spouting rapid, rhyming, meaning-full lyrics from behind his piano.  The music picked up to the beat of talented drummer Josh Dun, blue hair and drumsticks flying through the air in a blur.  The crowd wore masks as a tribute to the “Car Radio” music video, which I have now watched over a million times.  That goose-bump inducing video was what inspired to me as a new photographer to choose concert photography as my path.

I was so anxious for their show last Saturday that I headed into Boston early, expecting to walk past the empty Blue Hills Bank Pavilion at 3pm and get a late lunch before heading in for doors at 6pm.  I arrived to find over 100 fans camped outside in a line (for an assigned seat show).  These kids put my fandom to shame, decked out in gear and wearing red eyeliner (a Josh Dun) trademark.  A few people strummed ukuleles to the tune of Tyler’s ukulele fronted songs.  The bouncers had informed me that the crowd started to form around 7am, I was fascinated.

By the time the doors opened at 6 there were winding lines as far as the eye could see in both directions.  Fans piled into the sold out show glowing with anticipatory energy.  I entered the venue around 6:30 and the line for the merchandise table in the concourse had a line snaking through the entire place.  I have never seen anything like it at the Pavilion before.

Finish Ticket and Echosmith both opened the show with an energetic performance.  However I was admittedly distracted by my anticipation for arguably one of my favorite bands to take the stage.

And take the stage they did.  Blue Hills Bank Pavilion was on fire with energy when Tyler took the stage in the dark, the heavy beat of “Heavy Dirty Soul” rattling the seats as he spat out the lyrics into a swinging microphone hanging from the rafters.  Both Tyler and Josh started the show wearing masks a tribute to the character “Blurryface” after-which their latest album and tour are named after.  Josh hammered the drums standing up and twirling drumsticks as Tyler ran, jumped and dove all over the stage.  The dark lighting peppered with bright strobes was a memorizing addition to the performance.  They played for us every song that I wanted to hear including “Stressed Out”, “Guns for Hand”, “Migraine”, “Polarize” and “Lane Boy”.

There were too many highlights to count including mid “Holding On To You” when Tyler jumped from the stage to run a lap through the Pavilion.  My own favorite moment was toward the end of the show when Tyler again disappeared from the stage during the performance of “Car Radio” to scale a tower placed in the sound board.  Never a dull moment right to the end, the show wrapped with an encore of “Trees” as the crowd was blasted with confetti.  The performance was more than I could have asked for as both a fan and a photographer.

Twenty One Pilots are true performers.  Their music is meaningful and different and they put on a show that should not be missed.  I can’t wait to do it again.



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