A sellout crowd of 12,000 people packed Intrust Bank Arena on Friday to see Twenty One Pilots, arguably the hottest band of 2016.
And they did not leave disappointed.
It’s difficult to imagine someone leaving this concert and not being a fan of the two-piece band from Columbus, Ohio.
The band, comprised of vocalist/pianist/ukulele player Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, won over the crowd early with what seemed like a work of stage magic.
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At the end of “Hometown,” a few songs into the band’s two-hour set, a stagehand draped a black tarp over Joseph, as he sat at an upright piano on stage.
Then all the lights went dark, and a few seconds later, he somehow appeared on a miniature platform in the upper bowl.
It was truly impressive to see how well Twenty One Pilots, a young band, had total command of the arena. They were confident and in control the whole time, despite increasingly complex stage antics throughout the night.
The genre-bending band was genial from the stage, often interacting with the audience.
Joseph told the audience midway through the set the band stayed in Wichita the night before during a one-day break in their tour schedule.
“I tell you what, I really, really enjoy this place here,” he said.
And I think it’s fair to say Wichita had never seen anything quite like Twenty One Pilots before.
When else has a lead singer climbed into an inflatable hamster ball and roll over the general-admission pit during a set?
When else has a drummer back-flipped off the top of an upright piano on stage?
When else has that same drummer played on a drum set on a platform literally held above the general-admission pit by fans?
When else has a lead singer started a song while being held up by those same fans?
Everyone in the “Clique,” as Twenty One Pilots fans are known, seemed positively transfixed by the band’s performance, which will likely go down as one of the most dynamic, innovative arena shows yet at Intrust Bank Arena.
My guess is that the “Clique” added quite a few members Friday night, as well.
Just before the concert ended, Joseph told the crowd, “If you would have us, we would love to come back here to Wichita, Kansas again.”
That’s an invitation I’m sure those Friday night would readily accept.
Twenty One Pilots set list
We Don’t Believe What’s on TV
Ode to Sleep
Addict with a Pen
Cancer (My Chemical Romance cover)
Holding On To You
Tubthumping (Chumbawamba cover, with Judah and the Lion)
No Diggity (Blackstreet cover, with Judah and the Lion and Jon Bellion)
Where Is the Love? (Black Eyed Peas cover, with Judah and the Lion and Jon Bellion)
Jump Around (House of Pain cover, with Judah and the Lion and Jon Bellion)
Guns for Hands
Tear in my Heart