1. Their genre might be hard to define—electro-pop? soft rap? friendly rock?—but Twenty One Pilots seem to have a distinct formula for how they perform most songs: slow intro giving the swooning crowd a chance to sing along moves into fast, danceable middle moves into major crescendo complete with lights out. This should be the end of many tunes, but a slow coda with lead singer Tyler Joseph reprising a verse or chorus often follows, most of the time unnecessarily.
2. “Heathens” the lead single from the upcoming film Suicide Squad was performed early and fits in nicely with the duo’s heavily tracked live style.
3. Speaking of said style, while Joseph and drummer Josh Dunn are a formidable duo, some additional touring musicians wouldn’t hurt. Certain songs featured extra dancers, but a couple of live musicians would be worth the expense and add an element of spontaneity, instead of having so many piped-in effects.
4. Make no mistake, the Emotional Roadshow World Tour is a spectacle meant to make the Columbus, Ohio duo even more of a pop-megastar unit. Certain elements feel fresh, like when a drum kit is set up atop the crowd, with audience members literally holding it up as Dunn rips through a monster solo. Other stunts, like when Joseph gets into a giant, inflatable ball and runs across the top of the crowd, feel derivate of other acts, namely The Flaming Lips.
5. The second half of Friday’s main set featured one hit after another. A medley of covers ranging from The Beatles to Celine Dion revved the crowd’s collective engine. From there it was most of the biggies from the Pilots: “Ride,” “Stressed Out,” “Tear in My Heart” and “Car Radio.” And that’s why the roadshow was so emotional.