Have you ever felt so good at a place that you hardly wanted to leave? Have you ever had such a cathartic experience, that it nearly skyrocketed you to another dimension? I’m trying hard not to overpraise this, but truth be told, the extended cut of the livestream concert that Twenty One Pilots hosted in the middle of the pandemic, released in the movie theaters for one night only, has made me feel exactly like that.
It’s not surprising, though. I have been a big fan of this band for six or seven years, I can proudly say I grew up with them in a way. They aren’t just a band to me; as cheesy as it sounds, the way I always describe them is: they are a second family, a second home, as they took a very influential part in my long journey of inner growth and self-discovery. It always amazes me how their songs are so happy in terms of sound but so dark if you listen to the lyrics, as if the music is the body that withholds the pain, the anxiety, the depression or any other kind of emotion that the lyrics represents. And when those emotions become too much, the body releases them in the form of nosebleeds or tears or even deep, haunting screams which for someone who’s dealing with these emotions themselves, could be a cry for help, a safe space, a sense of understanding and being understood. I am so sure that Twenty One Pilots saved multiple lives by now and they are continuing to do so. This is the point where a band ceases to be just a band anymore; they are saviors, superheroes in flesh and bone.
The cinema experience was something else. It was a movie, a concert and a documentary all at once. The whole show started with a quiz on the band – not to hype myself up, but I answered all of the questions correctly – and continued with what seemed like a talk show hosted in Dema. Long-time fans must know that Twenty One Pilots build their discography around an entire storyline, which is just peak genius. So yes, the cinema experience had everything: Blurryface, Dema, the bishops and even our favourite little alien-thing, Ned. The most amazing moment, however, was when it switched onto the concert mode; Tyler sitting on a couch, suddenly bursting out the lyrics of ‘Choker’ without any music in the background, one hundred percent caused goosebumps on everyone’s skin . His vocals are just mesmerizing throughout the entire show. The songs are remixed, but in a fully enjoyable way, being new and nostalgic all at once. It is especially fun when the songs morph into each other and you begin to recognize which album they are from. Funny enough, I myself ended up changing my mind every time I heard a song, saying things like: “Yes, I always knew deep down that I am a Trench era girl” or “Now that I begin to think about it, Vessel must be my favourite album after all” or even “Neah, forget about it. I came in during the Blurryface era, this is the album I am going to stick with”. So yes, being a Twenty One Pilots fan is being unable to decide which album you like the best. They are all unique and each represents different states of one’s life. And this movie is, after all, a journey through time, through the lives of Tyler and Josh, as we do not only listen to a concert, but we get glimpses of where Twenty One Pilots came from and how much has happened since then. Watching the journey of their growth and expansion brings tears to every fans eyes; it is impossible not to acknowledge what these two, incredibly talented men accomplished with their love for music. The power they captured everyone’s hearts with is really special. Music, and art in general, is the best medicine for the soul, and this band is one of the most fitting representations of that idea.
I do not know if we’ll get the chance to see this version of the livestream concert ever again, but if we do, I advise everyone to just go and watch it, because as hard as I am trying, I just cannot express or emphasise enough how amazing this experience was. It never bored me for a second, even though it was a series of switches from the talk show to the concert, from the concert to Dema commercials, from the commercials to the production and behind the scenes of the concert – which is amazing by the way – and from the production back to the concert again, or even to the youth of Twenty One Pilots and their very first concert with a tiny crowd, which must have been my favourite part of the whole movie. Now that I think about it, the phrase that stuck with me the most was a young Tyler Joseph on the screen, saying something along the lines of: “I am not getting paid for this yet, but I really hope I will someday.” This sentence has shaken me to the core and keeps on inspiring me, knowing that passion, hard work and dreaming on a larger scale are always worth pursuing, as they can turn into something amazing overtime.
All in all, I cannot say anything I haven’t said yet, maybe besides the fact that sometimes I even forgot I am not physically at a concert; the guys truly outshined themselves and seeing how much hard work, dedication and effort it required to bring this idea into fruition is truly remarkable. Truth be told, I entered the movie theater feeling drained and tired of life, yet excited to see something I know would be amazing, but in the end, I left with so much more; something I will cherish and remember until the day I no longer am.