Weirdly for a London gig, it was busy as I sauntered in to catch the last "thankyougoodnight!" of the first support band. The second, Prides (according to a flyer) were pleasant enough, something between early MGMT, Foster The People and a vague 80s soft rock vibe.
Much like Icona Pop at Electrowerkz last year, I felt exceedingly old. Between bands, a bunch of kids pose for a photo, all wearing white balaclavas. If they have some Pussy Riot style agenda, it only seems to be fighting for the right to post anonymous selfies, or promote their love and belonging to the Twenty One Pilots fan gang. They've managed to foster a tribal gathering, one that I don't get and probably aren't meant to.
They take to the stage in afrenzy of fan love, and the lights go mental. This above photo is the view from the back (I really need to start bringing a camera with me) a stunning, blinding visual work. They pull out all the stops, doing some crowd surfing drumming and zipping across the stage from side to side, launching themselves off the piano, glowing drum sticks, the works. It's everything you deserve to get for going out and seeing live music, it's alive.
Musically, they were fun. More fun than an elementary youtube viewing session before hand had lead me to believe. Part rap, part piano pop - A Great Big World sprang to mind at points, albeit a much, much cooler incarnation. I can't qualify this, but there is something deeply American about their brand of pop, that goes beyond them singing in their American accents. I'll get back to you on that one if I ever figure out what I mean by it.