Twenty One Pilots will return to Lincoln for the third time Tuesday when the genre-hopping rock duo plays Pinnacle Bank Arena on its “The Bandito Tour.”
The pair previously have played the Bourbon Theatre and Pinewood Bowl. Now they're the most popular and likely the most important young rock band, hailed for bringing thousands of teenage listeners into the rock fold in today’s era dominated by pop and hip-hop.
To wit: Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Prophets of Rage had this to say about Twenty One Pilots on Instagram earlier this month:
“Last night @twentyonepilots at the (L.A.) Forum was pretty epic. So good to see a band packing them in that’s not afraid to ROCK and also deliver a visually incredible and artistically potent show. Best live band I’ve seen in awhile. The magic trick was a gasping surprise. And thanks to my kids for turning me on to them!”
Here’s what you need to know about Twenty One Pilots:
Formed in 2009 by Tyler Joseph, Twenty One Pilots as it is now constituted traces to 2011, when drummer Josh Dun teamed up with multi-instrumentalist-singer Joseph. The duo then signed to Fueled by Ramen, an Atlantic Records subsidiary.
Twenty One Pilots had its first hit, “Holding on to You,” in 2013. By the next year, it was playing Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza and selling out clubs, including the Bourbon Theater, where the duo played in May 2014.
The next year saw the release of the album “Blurryface” and a handful of singles, including “Stressed Out,” that pushed Twenty One Pilots to the top of the charts and into arenas. “Blurryface” took the Billboard Rock Album of the Year Award, and Twenty One Pilots was named the best rock band by the magazine.
“Stressed Out’ took the Grammy Award for Best Pop Group/Duo Performance in early 2017, just a few months before the duo went on hiatus.
Twenty One Pilots returned to live performing in July and released “Trench,” its fifth album, in October, two weeks before the group began “The Bandito Tour."
Last in Lincoln
Twenty One Pilots played to 5,500 people — the biggest possible crowd — at Pinewood Bowl in July 2016, one of the duo’s final shows in a smaller than arena/large amphitheater venue.
Here’s what we said then: “Once they hit the stage, multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun delivered a crowd-captivating, high-energy performance from the opening notes of “Heavydirtysoul” onward.
"That song — part-rapped, part-sung, part alt-rock, part pop — typifies TOP’s post-genre music that adds reggae rhythms and hip-hop to the mix.”
Tuesday’s Lincoln concert is the next-to-last stop on the first U.S. leg of “The Bandito Tour." The explosive two-hour show has received rave reviews since its opening night. A two-hour affair, it includes all the hits, like “Lane Boy,” “The Judge,” “Nico and the Niners” and, of course, “Stressed Out.”
As was the case at the Pinewood show, Joseph alternates between bass, ukulele and piano — there are no guitars in this rock band — with prerecorded backing instrumentation in the mix.
The show’s an arena-spanning visual spectacle as well. But we won’t be giving away any of the set pieces and tricks the duo will pull throughout the evening.
AWOLNation and Max Frost, a veteran electronic pop/indie rock band and a Texas singer-songwriter-producer, will open Tuesday’s 7 p.m. show.
Tickets for Tuesday’s concert cost $36 to $76, and are available at ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000.
[Photos: Twenty One Pilots at Pinewood Bowl, 7/28/2016]