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Twenty One Pilots At Reading Festival: “This Is A Once-In-A-Generation Band”

Andy Biddulph
Andy Biddulph 27 August 2016 at 12.46

Twenty One Pilots At Reading Festival: “This Is A Once-In-A-Generation Band”

Twenty One Pilots returned to Reading Festival for a headline-grabbing set on Friday. Here's what we learned.

GOOD LORD, TWENTY ONE PILOTS ARE BRILLIANT
Any band that can open their set with a triple-threat of 'HeavyDirtySoul', 'Heathens' and 'We Don't Believe What's On TV' is surely onto something special.

AND PEOPLE CARE. A LOT
When Tyler and Josh break into 'Heathens' in particular, thousands upon thousands of people - from those in red hats and masks at the barrier to the people spilling out of the packed tent - sing along with absolutely every word.

If that doesn't make any fan of music's heart swell with emotion, nothing will.



THE COVER SONGS ARE AWESOME, TOO
From a romp through House Of Pain's 'Jump Around' that'd be the highlight of any ordinary set through to the snippet of Dr. Dre's 'The Next Episode' that winds up ending their set (more on that later), these guys prove they can Twenty One Pilots-ify pretty much any song and make it unmissable.

Just saying.



THEY'RE BRAVE
The duo have a full festival set of bona fide classics up their sleeves, but they're also brave enough to change up even their biggest, most iconic songs on the grandest stages out there.

'Stressed Out' - arguably the hit of the last year or two - ends completely differently tonight, with an alternate, more upbeat, electronic-led ending replacing the gloomy breakdown of the original version.

If that isn't gutsy, we don't know what is.

 

What a band.

A video posted by rocksound (@rocksound) on


THEY TRIUMPH IN TESTING CIRCUMSTANCES
First, the lights went out, leaving Tyler and Josh illuminated solely by their (admittedly huge) backdrop screen and ultimately meaning they have to cut their set short.

"Just know this, Josh looks really good," Tyler smiles when the stage goes dark for the first time. If anything, the gloom inside the tent adds to the atmosphere anyway.

But t
hen during 'Car Radio', Tyler tries to crowdsurf to a podium in the middle of the tent but quickly gets bogged down in the crowd.

He finally gets to the top of the platform, surveys the throbbing and stretches his arms out wide. A massive cheer goes up, before the set is officially cut short as Tyler calls
 "That's it. Josh, we've got to be done" over to his bandmate.



THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST SHOWS READING FESTIVAL HAS EVER SEEN
Even with - maybe even partly because of - the technical problems and short set, this 50 minutes is already the set of the weekend.

Like Twenty One Pilots themselves, it's almost perfect in its imperfection. It's frail but gutsy, awkward but charming, and ingenious right the way through.

This doesn't just feel like a 'moment'. It's the moment Twenty One Pilots truly arrived as what they deserve to be: scene-altering future festival headliners.

Bands like this only come around once in a generation, and tonight proved yet again that we are lucky to have Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun in our midst.

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