Twenty One Pilots comes to Houston for Bandito tour


The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez

Twenty One Pilots were in Houston, Texas, for the Bandito Tour.

Zoe Alvarez , Staff Writer

Here is the setlist:

Main stage

  1. Jumpsuit
  2. Levitate
  3. Fairly Local
  4. Stressed Out
  5. Heathens
  6. We Don’t Believe What’s on TV
  7. The Judge
  8. Lane Boy
  9. Nico and the Niners

B-stage (Center of arena)

  1. Taxi Cab
  2. Neon Gravestones
  3. Bandito
  4. Pet Cheetah

Main stage

  1. Holding on to You
  2. Iris (Goo Goo Dolls cover)
  3. Hey Jude (The Beatles cover)
  4. Ride
  5. My Blood
  6. Morph
  7. Car Radio
  8. Leave the City
  9. Trees


The three-year hiatus ended with a new album “Trench.” This album began the new era of “Trench.” The concert took place in the Toyota center in Houston, Texas. Fans and members of the Skeleton Clique, (the name of their fan base), came from all over Texas to see the high-in-demand Twenty One Pilots. My family and I were lucky enough to score a room in the Holiday Inn right in front of the arena. From our room window we could see the fans waiting in line. Everyone was in Bandito attire. (watch “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners” to understand) The line was full of eager, energetic, excited clique members. The doors opened at 6:00 p.m. and the show began at 7:00 p.m. As soon as the doors opened everyone rushed to their seats or to the merch stands. After the two opening acts, Max Frost and Awolnation, the crowd eagerly waited for Twenty One Pilots.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez

Suddenly the lights went off in the whole arena and the show began. The sold-out arena was screaming in excitement. The curtains rose and there was Tyler Joseph and Josh Dunn in their upmost essence. Oh, was the crowd ready for a Twenty One Pilots show. Sirens went off signaling the start of their hit song “Jumpsuit.” A flaming car rose up in the middle of the stage. A symbolic iconic touch from their music video “Jumpsuit.” They began the song with force and strength letting the crowd know they are Twenty One Pilots and ready to start the show. The bass echoed in the entire arena. They had everyone’s attention. Everyone knew the lyrics to the song; it was the song of the new era. Word for word, the crowd sang their hearts out. This was the performance that gave everyone the energy for the show. Regardless of sitting through hours of Houston traffic, waiting in line for hours to be front row, or having a tough day, Tyler and Josh gave the crowd a burst of energy like no other.

I absolutely love Tyler and Josh. Not only do they give a great performance, they interact with the crowd. Not a “Hello nice to meet you, got to go” type of interaction, it’s a “I’m with you all and I’m going to share my music and my life with you all” type of vibe.  He connects with the fans on many levels. Emotionally, mentally, and physically. He shares his moments of emotion, his moments of deep thoughts and concepts, and moments where he stands with the crowd and reaches out to them.

After a set of songs Tyler would talk to the fans. He would make jokes and lifts everyone’s mood. Overall Tyler Joseph is a lovable person. Before playing a cover by the Goo Goo dolls, he shared a story with the fans. He told the crowd about how that song was playing in a 711 and Josh tried his first Mountain Dew. At every concert Tyler brings Twenty One Pilots to their beginnings. During the intro of “Holding onto you,” Tyler stood by the crowd and reached out and held their hands. Josh, as amazing as he is, took off his shirt and on his stomach read the word Houston. The crowd went wild with this.  Josh even walked through the crowd to get to the B-stage. People were absolutely loving these two.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
Twenty One Pilots continues with encore due to audience’s reactions.

After performing nine songs on the main stage, Tyler took a trip on the “Sky Bridge” to walk to the middle stage (B-stage). This bridge was suspended in the air. He was basically walking over the general admission crowd. He arrived at the B-stage with such pizzazz the crowd loved it. He then asked Josh to join him. He walked through the crowd to arrive to the B-stage. Once they were both there, he played a few chords on the piano. Crowds that dedicated fans knew well. They were going back to their self-titled album (2009) with the song “Taxi Cab.” He dedicated this song to both his and Josh’s fathers. He explained to the crowd that his father would like if they can have a song where the crowd could sit because they get very tired. So, in honor of his father liking an opportunity to sit, Tyler let the crowd sit and relax to this song. Everyone sat and watched in awe as Twenty One pilots played “Taxi Cab” with such passion and feeling. It left the crowd feeling emotional. I myself got emotional with this song. They played it with grace and beauty. The piano chords gave me chills, leaving me in a relaxed state. I was astonished by this performance. Two people, a piano player, and a drummer, moved the crowd and left us all emotional. Dedicated fans knew all the lyrics by heart. It was almost like an entire crowd was reciting poetry. I was so moved by this performance.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
Fans pass out yellow filters to illuminate the arena during the concert.

After playing this throw-back-to-humble-beginnings song, they went back to the “Trench” era. They continued that slow vibe with “Neon Gravestones.” During this song a huge tarp slowly covered the stage around them creating a box-like structure. Pictures were displayed on this tarp. In this structure neon lights hung up. These lights are most iconic with this song. They blinked and lit up in many ways. This song was also an emotional performance. Tyler sang with emotion; every lyric had its heavy meaning. He then concluded the song with the final lyrics, “To life, they were dedicated,” and the crowd completed the lyric with “Now, that should be celebrated.”

This performance left me breathless and raw with emotion. The lyrics hit me harder than they ever had before. They then played “Banditos.” Tyler’s vocals rang through the entire arena. It was pure talent. The acoustics of Josh’s drums along with Tyler’s piano and vocals made for a powerful performance. As if these two songs weren’t great enough, they wowed the crowd with their song “Pet Cheetah.” Tyler sang this song while sitting on the skybridge. It was a sight to see. I felt myself left in awe song after song never wanting the show to end.

Tyler and Josh then went back to their “Vessel” era with the song “Holding On to You.” This song had the crowd screaming in excitement. Everyone sang along to the chorus and listened with excitement while Tyler rapped. For my second time seeing this song live I still felt the same energy I felt the first time. Twenty One Pilots still carried that powerful energy in their performance. After this song, they brought Max Frost and Awolnation to the stage to play some covers with them. They all played Iris (Goo Goo Dolls cover) and Hey Jude (The Beatles cover). The crowd was all for this. Everyone had a great time dancing to “Iris” and singing along to “Hey Jude.”

They then continued with their hit song “Ride.” The fans loved this song. During the famous “I’ve been thinking too much,” bridge, the entire arena sang along as Tyler played the chords on the piano. After this throwback to the “Blurryface” era, they performed two new songs from the album “Trench.” They played their up-and-coming hit “My Blood” to which the crowd absolutely loved. Everyone sang along and was jamming out to this song. The beat kept people alive with an ever-living energy. Tyler did a fantastic job with the high notes of the song. It’s obvious that he can sing. They then played their new song “Morph” from their album “Trench.” The intro felt unreal live. It made me realize how lucky I was to see the high-in-demand Twenty One Pilots live in person.

The Magnet Tribune: Zoe Alvarez
Twenty One Pilots performs ‘Trees’.

Everything about this concert was fantastic. The lights were the best in my opinion and I’ve been to many concerts. The setlist was perfect. They kept “Blurryface” alive, showed us the “Trench” era, and went back to their humble beginnings. Every song was loud. They let us know that they are Twenty One Pilots and they are here to play. I felt the bass and drums in my chest. The atmosphere was electrifying. The arena was filled with people singing their hearts out to Twenty One Pilots. Many fans dressed up as Banditos. Tyler’s vocals were astounding. It’s amazing how much talent can come from one person. Josh played the drums with so much energy and liveliness. The crowd loved him. These boys kept a whole arena wanting more and more of them.

Like Twenty One Pilots or not, they can put on a show.