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Tour Diaries: Twenty One Pilots

On August 23rd, Twenty One Pilots, the genre bending duo hailing from Ohio brought their Icy Tour to New York City for a sold out performance at the city’s most iconic venue — Madison Square Garden.

Photos by Jess Williams (@jesswilliamsphoto)

This wasn’t the duo’s first time selling out this venue, that momentous occasion happened in August of 2016 when they sold out two back to back nights at the famous arena. Since then, Twenty One Pilots have climbed the ladder of success, securing a slew of chart topping hit singles and a Grammy award in 2017.

The show began and the energy throughout the venue was tangible, sending chills down your spine as 20,000 people screamed in excitement. Opening with “Good Day” and donning black ski masks, Tyler Joseph and John Dun wasted no time getting the show started. Fake snow began to plummet from the ceiling above as Joseph puffed smoke out of his mask.

For the last decade and a half Twenty One Pilots was solely Tyler and Josh, however the duo opted to bring a live touring band for their most recent album Sealed & Icy. This new element added a layer to their live performance that in some instances took away from the uniqueness of their performance, but in others, like their acoustic campfire section of the setlist, it added greatly.

The nearly two hour long set was a full-blown rollercoaster of energy. Starting with high energy favorites like “Guns for Hands” and “Lane Boy”, but breaking up the middle portion of the performance for a solo B-stage piano moment with Tyler, where he led the crowd in a group sing a long of “Mulberry Street”, as well as a mashup of songs that spanned across their discography from 2009 to the present. What I appreciated most from their performance, was how they chose to continue their decade long traditions of performing “Car Radio” atop a pedestal in the middle of the crowd and ending their performance with “Trees”.

Having been along for the Twenty One Pilots ride since 2011, it has been the utmost pleasure to see Josh and Tyler progress to the band that they are today. From opening slots with Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy, to headlining New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, to back to back sold out Madison Square Garden shows, these boys have given us everything they’ve got. Twenty One Pilots rocked the globe after the release of their critically acclaimed album Blurryface in 2015, and nearly a decade later they are proving to us that they still have what it takes and that they are truly here to stay.

As Tyler states at the end of each show, “We’re Twenty One Pilots and so are you.”

Photos by Jess Williams (@jesswilliamsphoto)


Make sure to follow Twenty One Pilots (@twentyonepilots) and MUD on Instagram and listen to the artist's latest releases on Spotify and all streaming platforms.


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