Twenty One Pilot's Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are a duo that seem to be just one of those that are perfect for the college scene: They have an enormous yet still somewhat arcane buzz about them, their music can't be classified easily into one genre, and they're really, really darn infectious to listen to. When the two traveled to Texas A&M University to play the campus as part of Yahoo's On The Road series, it was no surprise that the crowd welcomed them with open arms.
The duo waxed rhapsodic in a humorous interview preshow with fellow musician/Texan Brandon Hassan, joking about pre-stage rituals involving pickle jars filled with animal blood (we're pretty sure this is all made up), who they'd like to have as a sponsor ("Yahoo, and YooHoo"), and what band they'd love a dream tour with ("This is a really easy question"... sarcasm intended).
[ Photos: Twenty One Pilots in Concert ]
Still, the pair became more serious when taking the stage at the school's Rudder Theatre, making a dramatic entrance pulling on their trademark ski masks — which they have sported everywhere from stages across the country to the 2014 MTV Movie Awards — and this time in black, making them appear rather menacing before launching into opening number "Guns for Hands."
Tyler and Josh continued the spooky vein by donning yet another trademark, skeleton hoodies, before transfixing the crowd with "Ode to Sleep." (As an aside, many Twenty One Pilots fans refer to themselves as being part of a "Skeleton clique.")
Tyler brought a cute moment into the set by prefacing "House of Gold" with the Elvis classic "Can't Help Falling in Love With You"; then relating the song was his mother's favorite. He noted that she always asks why he wears black on stage, adding, "I'll wear something more festive for 'your song.'" (And yes, indeed, he did!)
No Twenty One Pilots show would be complete without some crowd acrobatics, and the band didn't disappoint. First Tyler did a crowd stand during "Holding On To You," balancing neatly on the palms of audience members; then Josh went a step further and had the audience hoist his whole drum kit. There may have been a backflip in there somewhere as well!
Overall the entire night was filled with extreme energy; it's clear these guys are ready to give it everything they have, every time they hit the stage. By the time they played their final song (an encore following an incessant chat of "One more song," from the crowd), everyone was spent in the best of ways.
Tyler managed to sum it neatly: "We're Twenty One Pilots, and so are you," he announced, before exiting the stage. Couldn't have put it better.