The lights and effects throughout the concert created an engaging and exciting environment for fans. photos by Mary Bergwell

Twenty One Pilots energizes BOK with animated show

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn entertain Tulsa audience with colorful displays and inspiring performances.

I’m going to preface this article by saying that nothing I could write could ever encapsulate the sensory overload induced by a Twenty One Pilots concert. I’ve been a fan of this band for years, and I have even had the pleasure of seeing them once before in concert, but I am truly amazed by the variety and creativity they display every time I see them.

Known for out-of-the box entertainment at their shows, including crowd surfing in a human hamster ball during their “Emøtiønal Røadshøw” World Tour, the rock duo consisting of singer/ frontman Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun captivates the audience from the very beginning. Emerging while standing on a car covered in flames while Dun held a lit torch, the duo was greeted by a deafening roar from the crowd, but it wasn’t just this fiery entrance that kept me entertained.

The show was a mesmerizing amalgamation of incredible graphics, lights, actual fire (and a few fireworks) and lyrically dense, emotional songs with upbeat melodies. Not only are Joseph and Dun outstanding musicians, but their showmanship truly distinguishes them from other bands out there.

Throughout the entirety of the concert, Joseph was maintaining the crowds’ engagement, instructing the audience to get low, jump, put their hands in the air, scream, dance, sing along and celebrate life.

“Are you happy to be alive tonight?” Joseph asked the crowd and was immediately greeted with a symphony of cheers.

The lyrical content of this band has often been accredited as a hallmark of their success with their global hits “Stressed Out” and “Ride” catapulting them into mainstream markets. The band’s ability to vocalize the anxieties common to our generation has elevated them to a platform that enables them to share their positive messages about dealing with mental health struggles.

These two, in addition to being incredible performers and creators, also come across as truly genuine and appreciative of everything they have accomplished. Pausing the show not once, but twice to have the crowd give it up for the staff at the BOK, Joseph graciously vocalized his appreciation, highlighting how much he and Dun appreciated working with the venue.

Likewise, both Dun and Joseph work to ensure that every single person at their concert gets what they paid for. Alternating between the main stage and the B stage positioned near the end of the arena, Joseph and Dun ensured that their show is incredible from any vantage point.

As the duo moved to the B stage to perform a variety of crowd favorites, including “Smithereens” and “Tear in My Heart,” both about his wife, Joseph told the audience in the seated section to sit down for the next two songs.

“I do that for the dads out there. They’ve got tired legs” said Joseph. A soon-to-be father himself,Joseph once again shouted out the dads in the audience during the song “My Blood.” As he split the crowd between the left and right side and started to sing a call and response, he informed the audience that when Josh “takes us home on the drums” everyone had to start dancing, especially “all the dads out there.”

To “provide inspiration” to anyone who may not be an automatic dancer, Joseph had three of the security guards in front of the pit show off their best moves. In addition to authorizing the children of the aforementioned fathers to force their dads to dance, Joseph also reminded the dads of the service he had done them earlier.

“I let you sit down earlier, so now you have to dance,” Joseph commanded.

Finishing their set with their song “Trees” from the album, “Vessel,” Joseph thanked the audience while playing the beginning chords on his keyboard, especially shouting out the fans who camped in front of the venue days leading up to the show.

Ending in their typical fashion, Joseph and Dun were both held up by the crowd while playing drums at the end of “Trees,” greeted by a chorus of “Hey” every time they pointed their drum sticks into the air.

As the confetti blasted around the venue, and the song came to a close, Dun and Joseph took their bows, thanked the audience one last time, and ended the show, saying “We’re Twenty One Pilots and so are you,” before the Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” filled the BOK.

I’m not sure why Twenty One Pilots ended their year-long multi-leg North American tour in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but I’m glad they did. I can easily say that it was the best show I have ever been to. If you haven’t yet seen them live, I highly recommend you do, and definitely make sure that you bring your dad.

Post Author: Mary Bergwell