Very few bands can make an entrance the way Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun did for the opening of their ‘A Complete Diversion’ show last night. As the lights dim and the crowd start roaring Josh Dun saunters onto the stage grasping a light flare, his face covered as he stares out into the crowd at Brixton Academy. Then appears a masked Tyler Joseph standing on a car as flares ignite from it and the band begin the night with ‘Jumpsuit’. Not many bands can say they have entered the stage upon a burning vehicle but it perfectly coincides with the music video for the song.
After that insane opener, the band moves on to ‘Levitate’. This is the live debut for all the songs on their upcoming album, including ‘My Blood’, ‘Jumpsuit’, ‘Nico and The Niners’ and ‘Levitate’ and it is the perfect night to showcase them.
Following from the craziness of ‘Levitate’, the band brings things down a bit, probably to help the crowd catch their breath after the insane rap parts of the previous song. Heathens begins with a beautiful piano intro before Tyler picks up his bass to complete the song. After all this, Tyler has a quick wardrobe change, looking more like he did during the Blurry Face era with his floral top and white sunglasses. Josh gets his time to shine during the intro of ‘We Don’t Believe What’s On TV’, the crowd doing their part screaming the ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’s’ at the top of their lungs.
Tyler then takes the time to speak about his love of London, saying ‘We view this city as a home for us’. He then goes on to announce the brilliant news that they will be adding a third UK date in March to their Bandito tour!
Next up is the ever so popular ‘Stressed Out’. The song has thankfully now been out for long enough to get over how overplayed it felt in the beginning thanks to the radio constantly playing it and is now much more special to hear live. This is especially the case with their reinvented version of the song.
During ‘Nico And The Niners’ Tyler and Josh did their famous handshake, something fans may have thought had been left back in the Blurry Fave era, but no.
For a two-piece especially, Twenty One Pilots do an impressive job of interacting with the crowd. During Ride Josh’s drum kit was held up by the crowd of fans as he finished the final drum solo. This followed Tyler actually going into the crowd and standing on top of the fans with their support during ‘Holding On To You’. Another example of how good the band are at getting the crowd going is during My Blood, the debut of the song which was phenomenal live. Tyler decides to split the crowd getting one half to sing ‘Stay with me, no, you don’t need to run Stay with me, my blood, you don’t need to run’ as the other half singing the backing vocals, creating a really special moment.
Twenty one pilots are full of surprises as halfway through ‘Car Radio’ Tyler disappears. Reappearing on one of the balconies of Brixton Academy singing above the crowd the fans both standing and seated going crazy.
The only possible criticism of the show was the lack of medley of their old songs, something present on the ‘Emotional Roadshow’ tour however they would have struggled to fit it in what with all the new songs. It was also slightly strange the way they would play the first few lines of some songs before going into a different one, for example the time they played a few lines of ‘Migraine’ before moving straight onto ‘Car Radio’. These things barely made an impact on the brilliant show they created. The production was unreal with flaming cars, an insane light show and confetti cannons.
Something that was surprising is that there wasn’t an encore to tonight. That’s not to say they did not have a finale though because they gave the ‘Complete Diversion’ show a sensational send-off. Following tradition, the band finished with ‘Trees’. A spectacular finish to a brilliant night. Tyler and Josh climb onto the crowd with their floor drums playing on top of the fans as masses of confetti falls onto the everyone. After taking a moment to take in the crowd Tyler ends the night saying ‘We are Twenty One Pilots and so are you!’