Twenty One Pilots at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA

Twenty One Pilots made an unforgettable stop at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans in support of their Bandito Tour.

Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph have become well known not only for their infectious pop songs, but also their electric and energetic live shows. And the Bandito Tour did not disappoint. The only issue is where to begin?

Indie rockers Bear Hands opened the evening. Their set was bare bones, really highlighting their musicianship and ability. The crowd was filtering in during their set, but those diehard fans up front were kept well-entertained. The Brooklyn boys were grateful for their place and performed with a rawness not seen very often in the inde-pop spectrum.

If one thing is sure, Twenty One Pilots fans are dedicated. They come dressed in various degrees of uniforms, including camouflage, bandanas, and yellow tape in an X over their shirts. The general admission crowd, some of whom had camped outside the arena for two or three days, chanted “T-O-P” while waiting for the show to start. Finally, the arena darkened and the kabuki drape covering the front of the stage dropped. Drummer Josh Dun emerged carrying a torch. He walked to either side of the stage before taking his place behind his drum kit to start the opening song “Jumpsuit” from their most recent album Trench. Tyler Joseph jumped off the top of a burning car wearing a ski mask to open the song.

At the end of the third song “Fairly Local,” Joseph did a trust fall into an opening in the stage and suddenly appeared on a platform on the upper level of the arena and sang one more chorus before ripping off his ski mask. It may be a trick they’ve used before, but it is still effective. The crowd loved it!

They played a mix of new songs from their newest album Trench, as well as senior favorites from Blurryface. A particular favorite was “We Don’t Believe What’s On TV,” a song that really gets the audience pumped up with the “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!” intro and mixture of ukulele and pop-punk, all things that shouldn’t go together but somehow meld into sheer infectiousness.

There were too many highlights to go through, between the light show and the lifted platforms for both Dun and Joseph. The boys know how to engage their audience and keep them there. They encouraged the audience to dance, even showcasing various security guards and ushers dancing on the two large video walls. 

In terms of lighting, the show was almost too stimulating. Crossing a catwalk that hung above the crowd, Joseph went to a piano across the room from the stage. Joined by Dun, they slowed the evening down a bit. Tyler even told the crowd, “You guys can sit. Josh has been sitting all night.” They played some of the slower songs from Trench while a beautiful rope light show that gave the appearance of falling stars danced over their heads. Always a party vibe, the crowd roared when Dun, while crossing back over the catwalk to the main stage, took off his button-down shirt to reveal a white t-shirt with the words “NOLA! Who Dat!” handwritten across his chest.

After a very brief break, the boys came back to the stage for their encore. After playing “Chlorine” and “Leave the City” from Trench, Joseph told the crowd that they are happy to have new fans but appreciate the ones that have been with them from the beginning. With that, they ended the evening with “Trees,” a tradition with band that started with their last tour. Fans in the front of the GA section held mini-stages (truly just wooden platforms) as Joseph and Dun climbed on and pounded on drums as confetti rained from the sky. It is definitely worth the money to experience.

TWENTY ONE PILOTS
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BEAR HAND
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SMOOTHIE KING CENTER
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About Amy Breaux 17 Articles
Amy is a live event and street photographer from the heart of Cajun country. When she's not shooting festivals and shows, you can find her roaming the streets of New Orleans capturing the uniqueness of her favorite city on Earth.

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