BLURRYFACE WORLD TOUR
w/ Twenty One Pilots and Echosmith - 09/13/15 - SOUND ACADEMY - TORONTO, ON
article and Photos by Logan Reid
Starting off my night in Toronto, I was extremely happy for the chance to see Chino, California natives, Echosmith for the second time within a year. Still fresh off their amazing debut album, Talking Dreams that went as high as #1 on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, Echosmith last performed in Toronto just this past March on their own headlining tour at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club with The Colourist. Although they were without their guitarist, Jamie Sierota who is off preparing to have his first child, Echosmith took the stage with just as much enthusiasm as I've seen before to an equally enthusiastic crowd. Joshua Murty would be filling in for Jamie for the duration of this tour. Playing a shorter set on this tour, Echosmith opened up the night with some of their most energetic songs in Let's Love, Talking Dreams, and Come Together, (No, not the Beatles song.) before slowing it down with Tell Her You Love Her, Bright, and a soft cover of the Modern English classic, I Melt With You.
I was absolutely overjoyed when they started playing one of the bonus tracks from their debut album, Up To You is just an absolutely fantastic song full of joy and energy that just would not be hidden from myself or from those on the stage. To finish their set, Echosmith played what is easily their most recognizable song in Cool Kids. Having been certified double platinum, it was pretty easy to hear that everyone in the crowd knew all of the lyrics to the song while at times even overpowering the band themselves during the chorus. At one point vocalist, Sydney Sierota even stopped performing just to pull out her phone and record the crowd's performance. Echosmith are one of the greatest young, up-and-coming bands out there right, and I highly believe that when they come back, whether it's on a headliner or another supporting tour, their shows and their crowds will be just as big if not bigger. Links to their music will be down below.
Twenty One Pilots
Next up was the reason everyone was there, from Columbus, Ohio, Twenty One Pilots. Never before had I seen a lineup so absolutely massive at this venue. I showed up about 30 minutes late for this show, and even then, this lineup was stretched for quite possibly a kilometer down the entirety of Polson Street, and around the corner onto Cherry Street. The longest line I had ever seen before this at this venue at least was only half that distance. Needless to say the excitement for everyone to see Twenty One Pilots was slightly overwhelming. When I had the chance to talk to some of the crowd, some of them told me they had waited as long as 7pm the day before having brought a tent and camped out a full 24 hours in advance, just so they could be in the front row when it came time for Twenty One Pilots to take the stage.
Perhaps it could be because their latest album, Blurryface which just came out on May 19th and this tour was named after recently debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart. As a huge fan of this band is absolutely amazing to see how far they have come in just the past couple years. Twenty One Pilots last headlining performances in Toronto include a sold out show at The Opera House last April, and in the May of 2013 a performance at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club. There were maybe 200 people at that show at the Mod Club, and 850 people at the Opera House. There were over 3,200 people at tonight's show at the Sound Academy.
Enough about the crowd though and onto the performance. Twenty One Pilots stuck to their dramatic nature performing their first couple songs, Heavydirtysoul, and Stressed Out in pitch black with the exception of some strobe lights in their Vessel era skeleton onesies up until they played their classic, Guns For Hands. Since time is always limited a smaller hybrid drum kit and a keyboard were brought to the front of the stage to perform a medley of songs from their previous 3 albums consisting of The Pantaloon, Semi-Automatic, Forest, Screen, Ode to Sleep, and Addict With a Pen. They kept the stage setup like this for most of the remainder of the set. For their song Doubt, they got the crowd involved with the performance having the fans singing "Don't forget about me when I'm gone." in harmonic layers.
Normally I would be commenting on how loud the crowd is for certain songs, but in this case that was the entire set regularly overpowering the actual performance. Doubt was the only song of the night where some of the crowd were quiet, simply because they were all 100% cooperative in the harmonies. Twenty One Pilots who have never shied away from the crowd later took turns crowdsurfing, first with vocalist, Tyler Joseph standing on the hands of the crowd while performing Holding on to You, and afterwards drummer, Joshua Dun playing the final parts of Ride, while him and his smaller drum platform were being lifted up by the crowd. Twenty One Pilots ended their set with the fan favourite and highly emotional song, Car Radio. During this performance, Tyler Joseph seemed to have disappeared from the stage and the crowd went dark while some of the samples from the song were played in repeat. Tyler had gone outside and made his way around to a custom rig set at the back of the crowd, where he climbed and stood just in front of the balcony to finish up the set with some powerful screaming.
Having gone back into the darkness to make his way back to the stage, Twenty One Pilots stayed in the dark for the beginning of the encore for their song Goner, a highly emotional song which was first released a few years ago, before being re-released on Blurryface and performed for the first time while on this tour. As usual Twenty One pilots ended the night with Trees, always a crowd favourite, and it also presented the chance to get back in the crowd. For the end of the song, both Tyler and Josh came and stood on the hands of the crowd once again while drumming on floor toms which were also being held up by crowd members. Before leaving, Tyler made sure to announce that Twenty One Pilots would be returning to Toronto. He made no announcement of when that would be, but that they would be playing the next biggest venue. This of course came with a huge uproar from the crowd. I have no doubt that when they do return, they will continue to sell out every bigger venue.
Twenty One Pilots