Twenty One Pilots at T-Mobile sang us to sleep but now we’re stressed out

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Twenty One Pilots

with Peter McPoland

T-Mobile Center

Friday, Sept. 9

On Friday, Sept. 9, a show that was long awaited by a good portion of the Kansas City metro area youth (or at least young-at-heart) took place; when the duo that goes by the name Twenty One Pilots took the stage. Before their appearance for the Icy 2022 tour took the stage, something interesting happened.

To avoid being a passionless, impersonal concert review, we’ll say this: Peter McPoland, a guy who got his start before becoming famous on the social app TikTok, blasted the T-Mobile Center with what could be called a strange, forced, and overly dramatic performance. While the backing musicians and overall singing were fine, McPoland’s onstage antics caught the most attention. This kid had more energy than Hammy the Squirrel.

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Peter McPoland. // Photo by Chris Ortiz

Now, bouncing around on stage, getting into the music that you are playing is one thing, but when you look like you are trying to rip off the clothes that he was wearing, circa late 1990s/early 2000s “mom dressed me for my junior high yearbook photo,” showing signs that would almost mock someone with Sensory Overload With Anxiety is frankly, boring, and unattractive to see on stage. This is even more so when everything that was done on stage reminded one of the early 2000s stage performances of bands like Hot Hot Heat, Vendetta Red, and other bands of the like, which does not mesh well with the all-time classic song “Twist and Shout” by The Top Notes, at least not the stage antics that McPoland was giving the audience

Yet, there were a lot of fans out there to see Mr. McPoland. And rightfully so, as his songs were fun to listen to, and with one of his more famous songs leading off the night, “Shit Show,” the crowd got ready for what was to come. It was just a shame that the T-Mobile Center was almost empty when his six-song set that could have been called the same visually was halfway done.

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Twenty One Pilots. // Photo by Chris Ortiz

The wait time between the two acts was overly long, so much so that the crowd had the time to do a dozen “waves” around the entire arena and include a brief call-and-answer game of “Marco Polo,” amongst other little bits. But when the lights finally dropped…that is when everything took off. The video entrance that the band showed was fun and appropriate for their Icy tour, showing the two members of the band walking through a winter blizzard to a blue door, which they eventually went through (still all on the video monitors) to appear on stage, where fake snow blasted. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun performed their first song of the night, “Good Day,” in their customary stage costume of matching outfits and black ski masks, before Joseph ripped his off and played the remaining 25 songs (which included two “encore” songs, where the band really never left the stage in the traditional encore fashion).

Yet, with two stages (Stage “B” making up of really nothing more than a small platform with a piano on it which was positioned in front of the soundboards, with an additional high rise/diving board height platform behind the soundboards which were both utilized by Joseph in a few different songs), a “campfire acoustic set”, which included a real camp fire set in font of the band (which the band thanked the folks at the T-Mobile Center for letting them do, as some other stops along their tour refused to let them use actual real fire, most likely due to the 2003 Station Nightclub fire where the band Great White’s pyrotechnics caught the venue on fire, burning it to the ground and caused 100 deaths and more than 200 injuries), it was a fantastic and enjoyable show. The duel, and their backing band which included the likes of Dr. Jesse Blum on trumpet and bassist Skyler Acord, from metalcore band Issues.

Mr. Joseph further interacted with the audience by doing skits like crowd surfing on an air mattress from Stage B back to Stage A, as well as running along both side of the pit and up to the midway point of the first level of the seated portion of the audience between sections 116/117 and 106/107.

Throughout the show, one could glance over the audience, which had filled the T-Mobile Center, and see people singing along, dancing to the music, overcome with so much emotion that tears were coming down as the band played on. Everyone, including the Kansas City Police Department officers who were there to help with the flow of people after the last song of the encore, “Trees,” could be seen singing along and dancing. To sum it all up, from overhearing one 20-year-old attendee of the show, “That was fucking awesome.”

All photos by Chris Ortiz

Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots setlist
A Stage
Good Day
No Chances
Guns for Hands
Holding on to You
The Outside
Message Man
Lane Boy

B Stage
Mulberry Street
Addict With a Pen / Forest / Ode to Sleep / Hometown / Bandito / Choker
The Judge

Campfire Acoustic
The Hype / Nico and the Niners / Tear in My Heart
House of Gold / We Don’t Believe What’s on TV

A Stage
Halo Theme (Martin O’Donnell cover)
My Blood / Saturday
Level of Concern
Shy Away
Car Radio
Stressed Out


Peter McPoland

The crowd

Categories: Music