Over four and a half thousand people stand in a sold-out show, waiting in the O2 Academy Brixton in London. It is a sea of yellow as the crowd have come dressed to match the new era of 'Trench'. None of us know what to expect, no one knows what we’re in for. We just know that we’re all here for the same reason; to see Twenty One Pilots.
Finally, there’s a noise, a deep bass fills the room and all 4,500 people cheer in anticipation. Rather than dimming, the lights get brighter and brighter, until they don’t, and they just turn off. There’s darkness and through the darkness, Josh Dun walks out holding a flaming torch, and appears at his drum-kit and stands. Both him and Tyler Joseph are dressed similar to the crowd, the yellow standing out on their outfits. If that’s not enough, the next thing we all see is a car on fire. The car from ‘heavydirtysoul’, a symbol of the end of the ‘Blurryface’ era. You feel a sense of excitement that this is finally happening, we are finally hearing the new songs live.
The duo then breaks into a song and debut their first single off ‘Trench’, ‘Jumpsuit’. A heavy bass, electrical pounding song that immediately has the crowd moving. The crowd knows every word, even singing louder than Joseph at some points. The car continues to burn on in the background and Joseph moves to stand on the roof of the car with flames burning on either side of him as the duo premiere another new song live, ‘Levitate’.
The band go on to play something we all recognise next, and it’s nice to be reminded what got us to love their music in the first place. Joseph briefly disappears off stage and when he comes back is now dressed with a Hawaiian style shirt and white sunglasses and he’s welcoming everyone to the show whilst Dun plays the drum beat of ‘We Don’t Believe What’s On TV’. Tyler explains how excited they are to be here, “It’s been over a year since we’ve played a show. I’ve got to get back into it, my legs hurt but I can do this I think.” He tells the crowd this as he then pulls out his ukulele.
Soon after, another new song is played, ‘Nico and the Niners’ - and another singalong ensues, which just seems to be the norm at this point, even for the newer songs. It makes you want to sing along even if you don’t know the words because you want to be a part of the energy the crowd gives off. The band then changes pace and plays songs from the past era, such as ‘Lane Boy’, ‘Holding On To You’, ‘Stressed Out’ and ‘Ride’. A sense of familiarity can be felt as they perform some of the same stunts as they have before - however this doesn’t dampen the feeling of excitement though to see Josh Dun backflip off the piano. However, they do put a spin on ‘Stressed Out’, performing the song slightly differently to the recorded track with a more guitar-heavy sound at the end, a slight nod to them transitioning to a new era.
The duo then plays the last of the new songs, ‘My Blood’. Joseph gets the crowd heavily involved, getting one half the room to sing a line and the other half another line. Once the crowd is singing the different parts together, Joseph smiles and turns to Dun and is obviously amazed at what he hears, especially since the song was only released a few weeks ago. It is clear the crowd is loving every minute of the show just as much as the boys appear to be.
The boys finish with two classics, ‘Car Radio’ and ‘Trees’, and Joseph makes his way back to the burnt out car for the latter. He tells the crowd that they always make sure to give everything they’ve got and Joseph promises if you come to the Bandito Tour, which is on in London in March next year, they’ll put on a show that the crowd has never seen before. The show concludes with the two boys standing on top of the crowd, playing one big drum each as air cannons go off across the stage and yellow confetti rains down from the sky.
The room is now a sea of yellow as the crowd cheers and celebrates the mind-blowing show that we all just witnessed. The boys get back on the stage, bow and wave at the crowd, and before walking off for the night Joseph has one last thing to say, “We are Twenty One Pilots, and so are you! Thank you!”
With that the show is done. The lights turn back on and everyone leaves buzzing about what they just saw, and who can blame them? The show was full of stunts and flawless vocals from frontman Tyler Joseph, and always impressive super-drumming from Josh Dun, who hits every bit with the same amount of energy, even an hour after playing. Each new song sounded smooth and rewarding for the fans that have waited to hear them.
Overall, even if you are a diehard fan, or just someone who likes their music, there is no way anyone left that show feeling disappointed, and if this is just the start of the 'Trench' era, it can only get bigger and better from here. Welcome to Trench.