For the past three months I have been looking toward June 25th with anticipation, not just because I got the chance to see my favorite band for the second time, but because I got to go see some new places, namely Columbus, Ohio.
As Jada and I pulled out of the driveway at 6AM sharp on Sunday morning, our eyes still needed rest and the eight hour drive seemed much longer than I initially thought. When we made it through Chattanooga, Lexington, and Cincinnati, I could see the thing I wanted was just over the horizon. We got closer and the signs that indicated the miles until Columbus held smaller numbers and our eyes, hearts, and minds finally began to perk up.
Our little Ford Focus putted into the capital city of Ohio with an hour and a half to spare before we needed to be at the venue. I initially thought that we could use some of that time to explore pre-show, but we wound up spending most of that time getting ready for the show. When I say we, I mean uh *cough* Jada *cough*.
We took a little time to look around once we got to The Schottenstein Center, but most of my time walking around was spent holding up my pants, which I didn’t discover were too big until I got to a place where I couldn’t change. In the long run, that’s a good thing, but during a concert where the lead singer encourages you to jump around a lot, pants that are too big become an issue because of how often they try to fall down. The outdoor speakers began to blast Fairly Local on repeat. It was a surreal moment realizing that this band I’d grown to love was coming home for the last show of their biggest album cycle to date, and I was going to be at that show.
We entered the venue and I felt a little woozy and walking all the way up the steps to the balcony where we were sitting did not help one bit. After reaching our seats in the upper level with our supper, which consisted of one box of popcorn each, Jada and I both began to feel uneasy. The Schott’s upper level was so steep that it looked like you would fall if you stood. I started brainstorming for a solution and then looked at my phone. It had a tweet notification that said 100 more tickets had been released. We had a little hope for a better view.
We rushed down the bottom floor of the arena and found ourselves lost in a sea of Clique members. The black and red shirt I had wanted from the merch adorned all their bodies and many of them wore one of the Clique Ticket Project’s signature hats (check them out, it’s a great cause). We eventually found the box office and as luck would have it, we got seats in the lower level. It was a great choice to move, though I did miss one song by the opening band as we rushed to find our new seats.
The show began with opening bands, Vesperteen and MisterWives, one of whom I was excited to see for the first time and the latter I was excited to see for the second time this year. Both of them delivered killer performances with great vocals from the lead singers, Colin Rigsby and Mandy Lee, respectively. (Please check out both of these artists, it’s so important to focus on opening acts because you never know who will be a headliner in the years to come.)
As the openers left the stage, the lights turned red. The crowd was flushed in the band’s signature color for this album and the Blurryface logo spread across the giant sheet that hung in front of the stage. The sheet fell to reveal the band’s two members, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, and the crowd erupted to sound of Heavydirtysoul. This was it. The beginning of the end of this album I had played on repeat for almost two years.
The band went through songs like Migraine and Hometown (where Tyler was like right above our heads), and pushed through chart topping hits like Heathens. The Message Man/Polarize mash up got the crowd going as we throw our hands into the air while Tyler told us to go ahead scream the signature “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” for We Don’t Believe What’s on TV, a song that I will forever be trying to learn on the ukulele.
The next song was Lane Boy which saw Tyler throw his floral kimono over his head and tell the crowd to “stay low”. This song has always been important to me because of the chorus lyrics, feel free to look them up. During this one, he tells us to get as low as we can and then jump when Josh comes back in hitting his drums as hard as he can. I was far too excited during this and definitely didn’t remember how big my pants were and my almost fell down but it was worth it, to be quite honest.
Next, the guys traveled to B stage to sing Ode to Sleep and a medley of songs from their first two albums, Twenty One Pilots and Regional at Best. As I sang along to the older hits, I not only noticed that Jada had her hands over heart the entire time (LOL), but also that the songs that were popular for them now would one day be “the old stuff” that people wanted them to play.
The band ventured back to the main stage to play hits like Ride and Stressed Out, and covered No Woman No Cry with Dr. B from MisterWives. Tyler also got into the crowd for my personal favorite, Holding On To You. It was during this song that I was 100% sure that I would not have a voice the next day.
The song Guns for Hands began, and I still felt queasy. I quit singing and ran to the bathroom, thinking I had to throw up but ended up only needing water. During this of course, was the part where one of the guys runs across the crowd in a giant hamster ball. RIP that I missed that.
As I rushed back into my seat, Tear In My Heart began. This is their only love song and one that I never ever turn on my playlist because of how much fun it is to sing. Thank God I didn’t miss Car Radio, one of the most emotional songs in their discography. In this one, Tyler begins on the main stage before travelling all the way to the back of the arena where he climbs a tiny platform and screams out the last bit.
The band left the stage as tradition goes before their encore. A darkness fell over the crowd as we shouted “TOP” in unison. When the guys came back on stage, a hush came across the arena while Tyler whispered Truce and then screamed Goner. I swear these guys save the tear jerkers for the very end on purpose.
As the concert came to a close, the band played the song they have said that they love the most: Trees. For me, Trees has always been a tiny little religious experience given how much the song relates to God. The guys ended this show as they do every show by standing the crowd beating their drums as confetti covered everyone in sight, then a bow, and then the signature saying “We are Twenty One Pilots, and so are you.”
Walking out of the venue, I was on such an adrenaline rush, but felt a little sad that it was over, though I know that new music is right around the corner. Columbus was cool, and it reminded me of how much I can’t wait to live in the big city one day. I really hope another event like this happens for the next album because I can’t wait to have another fun adventure to talk about, and another chance to see the band I love. Thanks for reading.
All photos owned by me, even though some of them look like they were taken with a potato.