May 21, 2019

Before I start my review, I would like to thank Budweiser Gardens and Downtown London for making this experience possible.  My two favourite activities are writing and going to concerts, so writing a concert review for a band I love is perfect!

Days before the Twenty-One Pilots concert, dedicated fans camped outside of Budweiser Gardens to guarantee a spot close to the main stage. After attending Twenty-One Pilots’ first concert in London, Ontario, you’ll see why fans will do anything just to get as close to the band as possible.

Bear Hands warmed up the crowd with songs such as Blue Lips, Giants, and Reptilians. The band played funky melodies throughout their set to pump up the crowd. Lead vocalist Dylan Rau expressed gratitude to perform on the Bandito tour and in front of the crowd at Budweiser Gardens.

It’s only the beginning for Bear Hands, and that performance will certainly not be their last in the Forest City.

Twenty-One Pilots ignited a solid opening with vocalist Tyler Joseph first holding a torch, and then lighting a car on fire. Throughout the evening, hits such as Stressed Out, Heathens, and Chlorine were played, along with more from their Bandito album.

The show became fairly local, when Joseph dedicated the song We Don’t Believe What’s on TV to realtor George Georgopoulos.

Watching drummer Josh Dun’s impressive concentration and ability to keep a beat reminded me of another great drummer, Meg White of the White Stripes. Funny enough, Dun played Seven Nation Army as part of the set.

There was no limit to where they were playing. When performing Fairly Local, Joseph fell backwards into the stage and the lights were shut off. As the lights turned back on, Joseph performed the rest of the song in the balcony.

Sometimes, drums would be carried on boards into the crowd, and the duo would jam on top of the boards. The fans made sure to keep the instruments steady above their heads and if that’s not dedication, what is?

Speaking of dedicated fans, Twenty-One Pilots kept the energetic crowd entertained by encouraging them to clap along, jump, and sing along to the set list. The screen on the mainstage would show a sea of fans dressed in yellow and black thrilled to be part of the show.

Even when the crowd was sitting down, they were still engaged with the music as the band played some ballads.

Listening to Car Radio, whether it’s for the first or hundredth time, is like listening to poetry, but the song is even more chilling when it’s performed live. Reciting the lyrics with Joseph will bring out a powerful connection to the song and will make you tear up before screaming about just sitting in silence.

The concert’s conclusion, like the start of the show, was a strong one that fans will never forget as yellow confetti danced in the air.

The confetti was just one piece of an overall visual stunning show, with the lights colour-coordinating to the music. Yellow lights would flash for songs from Bandito, red would flash for songs from Blurryface, and green and purple would illuminate the room as a nod to the Suicide Squad film as they played Heathens.

If you were stressed out that you didn’t get a chance to see Twenty-One Pilots, then you should definitely put the duo on your concert bucket list. You’re in for a great ride!

#BGReviewer: @stewart_em58
Photos by: Bill Woodcock

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