twenty one pilots @ Shinkiba Studio Coast (Mar. 9th, 2016)

The Pilots flight to fame
Live Report : “The Pilots flight to fame” @ Shinkiba Studio Coast 2016.03.09

twenty one pilots

It’s been a good couple of years for the alternative hip hop duo from Ohio. As one of the biggest emerging atcs of 2015, the boys are making some serious moves, but doing so on their own terms. Last year saw them drop their fourth studio album, Blurryface while hitting it big with the nostalgic smasher, “Stressed Out” (which reached as high as number 2 on the billboard top 100, sandwiched right between Pop God Justin Bieber and One Direction’s Zayne Malik). The album saw the pair tour the world over, including a rowdy showstopper in Japan at last summer’s Fuji Rock

Their most recent show here in Tokyo, in a packed Studio Coast, was their 5th Japan show in almost as many months, dating back to early July when they opened for Japanese mega-group One OK Rock. I labelled the boys alternative hip hop, but labels don’t really do Twenty One Pilots much good. They’re signed to the punk forward label, Fueled by Ramen but can’t be classified as punk. Their style ranges from rap, piano pop, reggae, dubstep, drum and bass, hard rock and the ever so neglected ukulele ballad.

twenty one pilotsAs diverse and spastic as their music can be, the pair make the act complete with their stage presence. Frontman Tyler Joseph whips around the stage in a frenzy while alternating between genres with appropriate masks, makeup and hipster glasses. His weapons of choice include dropping rhymes on an overhead mic, jamming out on bass, or singing and serenading on piano or aforementioned ukulele. His partner in crime, Josh Dun, fills out the sound by blasting along on drums or by dropping prerecorded backing tracks. That is, of course when he isn’t up on stage doing back flips off their piano or standing up on his drum set saluting the crowd.

As the pair are still on their Blurryface tour, the set consisted of mainly tunes off the 2015 album. Crowd participation was tight and it didn’t take long for a singalong as Pilots dropped their hit “Stressed Out” just two songs into the set. Throughout, there was hardly a pause for air. The youngish Studio Coast crowd seemed content to try to keep up with the duo by jumping and rocking along themselves the whole set long.

twenty one pilotsWithout limiting their antics to the stage, Tyler leaped into the front row and stood on shoulders of people in the front while they performed “Holding onto You”. Later on in a flash of smoke, their set closer and 2013 smash “Car Radio”, began with Joseph suddenly appearing up on a second floor balcony of the venue. Closing the show with an encore of “Goner” and “Trees” saw the pair head back on top of the crowd, this time on boogie boards and wielding matching bass drums. They smashed out beats as confetti rained down on the giddy revellers below.

The show ended too soon, but came with promises to return. Judging by the frequency of the their recent visits and the joy expressed by the fans tonight, the wait for a return won’t be long indeed.


Heavydirtysoul/ Stressed Out/ Guns for Hands/ Migraine/ Polarize/ We Don’t Believe What’s on TV/ The Judge/ Lane Boy/ Holding on to You/ Ride/ Tear in My Heart/ Car Radio *Encore* Goner/ Trees

–>Live Photos

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Laura Cooper
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James Mallion

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One Response to “twenty one pilots @ Shinkiba Studio Coast (Mar. 9th, 2016)”

Pingback from twenty one pilots @ Studio Coast, 9th March 2016 | adventuresinthelookingglass
Time 2016/06/22 at 4:54 PM

[...] You can see my photo report and the live report from James Mallion at this link: [...]

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