You know, as someone who has listened to Twenty One Pilots since 2013, it’s been a rollercoaster of feelings as I see the success and popularity they’ve accomplished within the year and some. I am extremely proud and happy that Tyler and Josh are selling out shows, living the dream, and bringing hope to people across the world with their music.
They saved me. I can remember the first time listening to Ode to Sleep on their album Vessel and just remembering how different and intrigued I was by the beat, the lyrics, the instrumentals, I could not get enough. I think I can speak for everyone who knew Twenty One Pilots in the Vessel era can agree with me that the Clique (The Band’s Fanbase) was entirely loving, close, and supporting. It was so fun to interact with people and be excited when Twenty One Pilots performed Car Radio on the MTV music video awards and how everyone who never heard of them before was so confused by the performance but us as a Clique just went crazy on twitter and couldn’t stand how dead the crowd was or hoping they would play holding on to you, migraine, or really whatever song was our favorite.
Before I go into the depths of being a Twenty One Pilot Pre-Blurryface era, I am NOT saying that anyone who likes Twenty One Pilots after Blurryface is a “fake fan” or less of a fan, because that’s hypocritical and maybe they just never got the chance to listen to them until they heard Stressed Out on the radio. It’s okay if you just discovered them, but it’s not okay if you hate on people for just discovering them because we all were newbies to the Clique at one point or another.
OKAY! Ready? great.
1. Pro: The crowds were way smaller, way better, and less squished
Now, I’ve seen Twenty One Pilots on almost every tour starting on the tour where there was Sirah and Robert Delong. The crowd for this show was much more mild comparing to the Blurryface tour crowd, and EXTREMELY much nicer. The perks of liking Twenty One Pilots before they got super popular is that the people who went to the concerts before the Blurryface Tour, (So basically the Quiet is Violent tour and before), actually went there because they knew Twenty One Pilots when they were barely reaching a million listens on Spotify. A lot of the people in the crowd were excited to see their favorite band that not many people knew and knew every word off Vessel, Regional at Best, and Self Titled. Don’t get me wrong, when Twenty One Pilots came out the room was hype and it got intense at some points but you were able to breathe and not feel like you’re about to pass out or die. Blurryface Tour was completely awful and a reason why I am not going to be in the pit anymore because when a band get’s huge, you bring in more people, more fans, which ultimately means- more assholes who just want to shove their way to the front. I was yelled at for dancing during the opener of Finish Ticket by someone behind me and I was caught off guard because its a concert- you should dance? The fact that literally people were slipping due to sweat and you couldn’t even enjoy the opening bands because the awful shoving had started an hour before the first opener, it is just ridiculous. When I saw Twenty One Pilots on all the other shows before Blurryface, I had such a fun time and I didn’t have to focus on whether or not I was going to live or die waiting in the crowd.
2. Con: The radio ruins it for you
I’m not gonna lie, Stressed Out was probably my favorite song that Twenty One Pilots released before they released the actual album. The album itself is overall A+ and I found a lot of favorites, which Stressed Out was one of them. I wasn’t surprised when Tear In My Heart was on the radio, and even though it got enough radio play, once Stressed Out hit the radio it has been non stop. Now, that’s awesome that people are FINALLY realizing that Twenty One Pilots is good music, but when a song gets overplayed, it kills it. The other thing about the radio is that it only plays that song, it never plays ride (which I can already tell that it will be on the radio soon), polarized, or how about their Vessel songs?? Here is where I might offend people, but personally, hearing people saying they love Twenty One Pilots so much but only for their one song on the radio, it get’s kinda irritating to me. Hopefully the radio never plays Goner, because I will literally cry if they ruin one of the most beautiful songs off Blurryface.
3. Pro: Ticket prices were cheap and meeting them after the shows
Ah, yes. I think any fandom can agree that the ticket prices before their favorite band became popular, the tickets were around $20 which was super amazing considering that the taxes after tickets are the WORST. To see Twenty One Pilots now after taxes ranges from like $50-$80, and if the show becomes sold out, people sell them for RIDICULOUS amounts of money. Who in their right mind thinks that someone will buy a concert ticket for over $1000? I mean, really? If you had that $1000 laying around you would’ve bought the hardcopy of Regional at Best. Also, another perk during the early stages of Twenty One Pilots was that you could meet them after the shows much easier and not have to worry about only having 30 seconds to take a photo and get an autograph, or waiting hours after the show to see if they will come out and they end up not.
4. Con: They aren’t “OUR” little band anymore
I almost feel like tearing up typing this header, because it’s so true. I mean, sure, we are important to them and always will be, but there is little part inside of you that dies when you have told people about them and how they need to check them out during Vessel era and prior and they didn’t listen to you and then until Stressed Out came on the radio they act like they know everything about Twenty One Pilots and you’re just like, “really?”.
I’m not a music snot, okay…maybe a little, but as a band that I have been so emotionally connected and committed to, it’s hard to see people who just started liking them acting like they’ve liked them longer or more than me, not that it is a competition or im entitled into being their biggest fan at my school, city, etc., but sometimes there’s just bands that you want them the most success because they truly earned it, but you don’t want everyone to know them because they’re so special to you.
5. Pro: Tyler and Josh finally get the success they deserve
I feel like I’ve been hitting at this Pro in the pervious posts, but it’s so great to see Tyler and Josh selling out arenas, traveling the world, a dedicated fandom, and being recognized for their talent. Seeing how far they’ve come is so satisfying and you can’t help but want them to be number one on the charts because they’ve been number one in your playlists. Being able to say, “I’ve been here since the start” (Assuming the start can be before Blurryface), is such a great and fun feeling.
6: Pro: Understanding Blurryface and their lyrics
Remember all the Blurryface theories? The Blurryface Twitter account? WHO ACTUALLY LEAKED IT? That was a stressful time for the clique. In Stressed Out, I’m sure people don’t really know who Blurryface is unless they were during the transition period between Vessel Era ending and Blurryface Era beginning. Who is Blurryface? It’s an important symbol in Twenty One Pilots and unfortunately people who just started listening after songs got on the radio, it’s hard to explain the cliques feelings, assumptions, and reaction to Blurryface- or when one day Blurryface decides to tweet and everyone FREAKS out, usually it’s the people who were Vessel era or before. It’s something that “we” can still enjoy as knowing we were there before Blurryface and we got to experience that.
Another thing is that we know Tyler and Josh better, and we know that there is a deeper meaning to their lyrics. I mean, I see the Gospel being poured out in their lyrics, and we understand what songs are about Jenna or songs referring to struggle. Songs more specifically on Regional at Best and Self Titled are something people that people before Blurryface era may not really understand, or they may not listen and be familiar to those albums because as Vessel era had Vessel which is a favored album by most of the clique, we had to wait awhile for Blurryface, so we had two years of waiting for new music and we connected to their older music and it has been an emotional train wreck for us because the songs have so much meaning that may get lost for people who just heard of Twenty One Pilots because maybe the only reason that they like Twenty One Pilots is for their song Stressed Out or the style of music that Blurryface is.
IF THE CLIQUE CAN SAY ANYTHING ITS THAT WE DON”T KNOW HOW TO PUT A GENRE ONTO TWENTY ONE PILOTS.
Every album is different, it does have some similar aspects, but overall, if you went from Oh Ms. Believer to Ruby to Car Radio to The Judge, they are significantly different.
7. Pro & Con: The Clique is growing
The reason why I put this as a pro and con is because the pro side is that we can welcome more people who love twenty one pilots. We can celebrate, listen to, and see Twenty One Pilots together and get excited whenever we talk about them. Personally, the clique has it’s ups and downs, but generally I do like the fan base because there is so much passion, love, support, and acceptance from the group and people have found new friends and a sense of being worthy. Our saying is, “Stay Alive” and I believe the Clique really keeps that principle close to our hearts. More fans the bigger Twenty One Pilots is, which again goes back to the idea of success that they deserve.
The con is that when you have more people joining, the more drama and conflict in the clique there will be. People will different opinions and there has been a lot of drama in the Clique lately. Not saying that it’s the Blurryface era doing it either. I suppose all the cons I’ve listed above have really been because the Clique has grown and that more and more people want to see them and shove their way to the front even though the hardcore three plus year twenty one pilot fans have been waiting over 8 hours in line and 2 hours in the venue up front to see their favorite band but have to get out or get pushed back because new fans want to be in the front too or the jerks who come right before the show starts and push their way to the front. (those people are the worst and need to stop).
Overall, I think that there and always will be pros and cons to any band that gets big. I love Twenty One Pilots and so happy that they’ve come so far along and I’m glad that the clique is growing and people are finally understanding why I was so obsessed over Twenty One Pilots before Blurryface came out. Hopefully people who joined after Blurryface don’t feel offended, but I know a lot of fans before Blurryface have had mixed feelings and I felt like I had to share my feelings.