Over the weekend of Oct. 17 and 18, Twenty One Pilots performed twice at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, and it was two nights that will not be easily forgotten. Since it was experienced from both the pit of the venue and on a balcony in the back, both nights offered different experiences but similar feelings.
From the front of the venue the first night, there was a better sense of “togetherness” among the crowd. The negative side of this is that it was swelteringly hot, and mostly everyone had waited since as early as 9:30 pm the night prior. They were tired, weary, and, frankly, a little aggravated too. But nothing could ruin their excitement for the band. It was easy to see that everyone in the pit was a die-hard fan, and screaming the lyrics and dancing along with fellow fans was the most heart-warming experience. Twenty One Pilots emerged with the perfect song to get the crowd pumped; “Heavydirtysoul”, with its immediate quick pace to match those of the audience’s heartbeats, set the stage for the rest of the energizing concert. Performing recent fan favorites like “Message Man”, but not forgetting about older ones like “Forest”, Twenty One Pilots were there to please all fans, old or new. But one truly unforgettable aspect of a Twenty One Pilots concert is how they get the crowd involved. During the classic “Holding Onto You”, Tyler, the singer, hops onto the crowd to rap the first verse. During newcomer “Ride”, Josh, the drummer, has a drum set placed on the crowd, where he goes into the most insane drum solo. But the most inspiring and touching moment was during the last song. Tyler begins with a soft piano solo, while telling the audience what they mean to him, in the most wonderfully sentimental way. It fades into the actual song, “Trees”, which is about finding purpose and faith. As the beat of the song slowly picks up, two drums are carried onto the audience. Tyler and Josh then climb on and drum on top of the crowd as confetti and water rains down from above. And as the concert came to a close, it was shockingly easy to hear some of the attendees crying over how happy they were in that moment.
The second night at the venue was spent at the front of the second tier overlooking the stage, so it was much easier to see everything that was happening on stage. Tall, sweaty strangers weren’t blocking the view like the night before, but it was a bit less interactive from the back. But the band seemed to be more talkative, as there was more filming being done for a DVD. Tyler was talking with the crowd more, occasionally calling out certain people with posters or simply talking up Josh. He also went much more in depth in his speech before “Trees”, making the night a bit more sentimental for some. Nonetheless, Tyler never forgot people in the back, as during the electrifying “Lane Boy”, he asked everyone to “get low”. Once the beat dropped, Tyler jumped off his piano as the crowd did the same from their own spots, no matter where they were.
Despite being seen from different points of views, Twenty One Pilots delivered a concert unlike any other. From drum solos on the crowd, to hanging from the highest point of the venue, Tyler and Josh went above and beyond what a normal concert is like to give the crowd a once (or maybe twice) in a lifetime experience.