Photo Credit: Alyssa Bardol
The Bandito Tour made it’s third stop in St. Louis and was packed with primarily younger fans, covered in yellow tape and olive green jackets – resembling the new twenty one pilots era. This show was complete with lots of energy, emotional performances, true talents, and dedication towards their fans. Leading off the night, Max Frost jumps on stage and begins looping instruments. The one man band was full of energetic beats and catchy melodies. Frost was very engaged in the audience, encouraging them to dance and sing along.
Shortly after Frost left the stage, the lights dimmed and Louis Armstrong’s classic, “What a Wonderful World” filled the arena. Awolnation took the stage. Lead singer Aaron Bruno later tells the crowd he never went to his high school prom, so he grabs some flowers then asks the crowd to put an arm around their neighbor and sway. The band plays their song “Table For One,” and Bruno throws flowers out into the crowd for lucky fans to keep. Finishing off their performance, the band played their smash hit, “Sail.”
While the fans eagerly awaited twenty one pilots, Fortnite theme music played rather than your typical interlude music. The meaning is currently unknown, but a few fans in the crowd speculated this could be a nod to singer Tyler Joseph’s younger brother, Jay Joseph, as he streams Fortnite gameplay online.
The curtain fell. On stage stood drummer Josh Dun masked with a yellow bandana. He paced, carrying a lit torch in one hand. Behind him, a burning car arose. Kneeling around the flames was – who the crowd thought – singer Tyler Joseph. He jumped down, grabbed his guitar, and began one of their newer single, “Jumpsuit.” The duo had a trick up their sleeves, and fans were surprised when the man resembling the singer stood in the center of the stage and fell backwards. Seconds later the real Tyler Joseph was revealed in the stands.
Despite the new era, the band was sure to include older traditions into their show. Joseph went through many wardrobe changes – some including the thick white sunglasses with the floral kimono, to the infamous red beanie hat. Dun also embraced some of these older traditions, doing his infamous backflip during the bridge of “Holding On To You.”
Joseph made his way across a sky bridge while rapping “Nico and The Niners.” Once the song is over, Joseph joked how they’ve reached the awkward part of their set where only half of the band was where they were supposed to be. Dun hopped off stage and walked right past the crowd, joining Joseph on the B stage.
Joseph urged the crowd in the stands to sit while they played “Taxi Cab,” a powerful song Joseph wrote on the piano years ago. The band continued with songs from their newest album, while their faces illuminated a mesh curtain around them.
The band welcomed back Max Frost and Awolnation to perform nostalgic covers of “Iris” and “Hey Jude.”
Dun got his time to shine during “Morph,” when he drummed on a platform held up by fans on the floor. The song choice was near perfect, as a deep distorted voice gives a slight shoutout to the drummer, saying “Not done, Josh Dun.”
Joseph returned to his piano and played a slower new song, “Leave The City.” The yellow spotlight on Joseph and the few yellow flashlights from the crowd made the performance intimate and meaningful. Behind Joseph, the screens simply showed black and white visuals with hints of yellow. The fans were seemingly quieter during this song, but some jumped in and yelled the line, “In trench I’m not alone,” together with Joseph.
The “Trees” finale made the show go out with a bang. As if the two boys drumming on platforms in the crowd wasn’t enough to make for a powerful ending – tons of yellow confetti and smoke was shot in the air, and the burning car made its final appearance. The fans all shouted “Hey!” in sync with the music, a tradition that’s been carried out for some time.
“We are twenty one pilots, and so are you.” Joseph says back on stage, bowing beside his long time best friend and bandmate.