Two years and a month ago I saw Twenty One pilots for the second time, once they announced a part two for Emotional Roadshow. I was in 8th grade. I knew when tickets went on pre-sale and I knew I had to get them for my mom and I. As much as I wanted floor, my mom doesn’t like the floor so I aimed for close seat tickets (my French teacher sucked so much she didn’t notice I was on my phone). I was ready to buy tickets. Try after try the screen popped up, section 121, the section right next to the stage. I was messaging my dad, my sister, my brother asking them for money to buy the tickets. Like good siblings should do, they told my mom; they said no they couldn’t give me the money. I can’t even begin to tell you how upset I was. My mom, always a step ahead of me, had already bought me tickets to the show. Floor tickets…
2016 Christmas rolled around. My mom, always being creative, didn’t wrap my gifts and hid them in plain sight. I couldn’t find any of my gifts. She told me look at the tree. I remember I was smiling so much looking and I couldn’t see anything. Then she pointed it out. On the tree there was a clear ornament with a paper inside. It had a screenshot from ticket master of the ticket with TØP on it. Pretty smart right? Jumping ahead, that night when I got home from the show, I found a piece of confetti that stuck with me so I put it in the ornament.
I thought of doing something cool for the show. I did some thinking and I came up with the idea of buying a Chicago flag, walking the line having fans sign it and I would try to toss it to Tyler during ‘Holding Onto You.’ I put out what I was going to do the morning of the show and reached out to the TØP fan account for Illinois on twitter. They shared it and it got an amazing response. I was really excited to make this happen.
I brought my friend Danny along. It was his first time seeing them.
That day it was so cold. We waited in line for about an hour. We asked someone’s mom if she could hold our spot in line and she was super chill about it. Then we went to a Churches Chicken around the corner to warm up and there were a lot of people in there. I thought it’d be a good idea to start getting the flag signed. Everyone who signed the flag was so happy. They kept saying they were looking for me, how they saw my post on twitter. It was such a good feeling.
Then we left and started walking the line getting more and more people to sign the flag. This one dad and his daughter told me they had came from Texas for the show. Another kid told me that their friend was going to meet the band because they won m&g through a radio station. One girl asked if she could do a quick drawing of Tyler, of course I said yes! It was so nice to be able to talk and bond with people. (All the photos I took of everyone will be down below.)
The line started moving so we hopped back in our spot. I said thanks to the mom that held our place, and she said,”No problem, my daughter told me about your flag and that’s a great idea!” Not going to lie it was heartwarming to hear that from a parent.
Once we got inside the venue we were close to the stage right in the middle. This time they brought out Judah & The Lion and Jon Bellion for opening acts. I love how they always bring acts that people aren’t familiar with.
Judah & The Lion preformed first. They’re style of music wasn’t something I’d listen to, but they were entertaining to watch. One thing I’ll always remember about their set was how the lead singer brought out a disco ball. There were a few white lights that shined on it and the whole place lit up. It was so beautiful to see. Their music was fun to hear and upbeat.
Jon Bellion was next, he was someone I don’t listen to often. He was more hip hop. I recognized his one song ‘All Time Low.’ The crowd seemed to enjoy his set – I know I surely did. After I saw him in concert I heard more of his stuff on the radio.
It was a whole difference experience seeing TØP on the floor. I was able to hold up Josh’s drum island and woah was that sick! I can’t even remember if it was heavy. I got closer and closer to the barricade through out the set.
During ‘Holding Onto You’ where Tyler gets into the crowd, I was relatively close but that’s when I tossed the flag to him. Unfortunately it didn’t get to him but I do believe he saw it. It was a little sad – but it was worth a shot.
The set list wasn’t much different than the last tour. They did take out the melodies of their older songs. They added ‘Message Man’ (one of my favorites) and ‘Heathens’ to the set list. Hearing those two songs for the first time was insane! I was singing my heart out during the show. In all my videos I got you can just hear me singing and I find it so funny. I think we can all relate to hearing ourselves in concert videos.
One thing I remember so vividly is when towards the end of ‘Screen’ everyone is just singing “we’re broken, we’re broken people.” I’m not too sure why but that part hit home. Everyone singing it along with Tyler just brought the song together. I don’t know the exact word but in a way it was comforting to hear everyone signing that part. The way I interpret that part is that everyone has their flaws and that’s okay.
During ‘Trees’ before they got in the crowd and the drums went up. There was one person in front of me. During the song once again everyone is singing along. I’m crying, people around me are crying. You can just tell that an incredible night has come to an end and everyone is just taking in the moment. Josh came down from the stage and was just high fiving people and we were able to high five him!!!
I’m going to switch it over to Danny and his thoughts about the show.
This concert I will never forget. It was January 28, 2017, and I was 16 years old, almost 17. I didn’t know what to expect. I had grown up with such artists like Coldplay, U2, John Mayer, and The Frey who have all done something different with their music in a similar style such as Twenty One Pilots. I was so excited when SMG asked me to tag along. I had only recently begun enjoying the music of Twenty One Pilots before seeing them, so I didn’t know much about them.
However, it was an amazing experience. I have never seen artists with such energy and inclusion on such a big stage. That is considering that the United Center is one of my favorite, and one of the biggest, venues in Chicago. After this show, I have never looked at music the same way again. I have been inspired to create something different with my own writing process of music. I couldn’t be happier.
I would get more into how I feel about their music and each detail in their songs, but this isn’t just about me so I’ll leave it at this. Much love and thanks to SMG for transitioning me into the world of Twenty One Pilots. – Danny
I loved what he wrote. My whole purpose of this blog is for you guys to share your stories with me and me being able to tell mine along the way as well. This is different than previous posts but I really hope you enjoyed seeing Danny’s perspective. By the way check out his band Filtered Fantasy (click on bold to access his links), I recommend checking out his song In Focus, personally one of my favorites.
Going back to the show. Once again Tyler and Josh didn’t disappoint and there was never a dull moment in the show. While Tyler was giving his speech he mentioned how his first ukulele was named Chicago, and how Chicago was one of the first cities they played outside of Ohio. Anytime TØP comes to Chicago, I’ll be there. I’m not sure how to end this but I’ll leave it with this video I took at the show… I was the one who yelled “I love you Tyler!” and the rest fell in so perfectly!