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Twenty One Pilots/You Me At Six

Perth Arena

Thursday, January 16, 2014


As enthusiastic purveyors of the dubious-sounding ‘indietronica’ genre, two-man band Twenty One Pilots’ shtick is clearly aimed at a young market. Lead singer Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun’s high energy show left nothing to be desired performance wise, with Joseph’s grand piano regularly moonlighting as a springboard – but we were there for music, not gymnastics, and their schizophrenic mish-mash of pop, rap, electronica, dubstep and even reggae was frankly headache-inducing.

With a hearty cheer welcoming You Me At Six, a considerably larger head count was testament to the UK natives’ growing popularity. While the five piece belong to the ever vague alternative rock category, I struggled to find the rock – moments of deceptive heaviness and requests to ‘…put your horns to the sky, Perth!’ were the standouts in an otherwise stale performance. A feeling of deja vu descended as it became disappointingly apparent that, much like their predecessors, they seem to value style over substance; their enthusiastic showmanship certainly deserves praise, but nothing really differentiates their music from all the other radio-friendly fodder out there.

A glimmering soundscape signalling Paramore’s entrance compelled a throng of fans towards the stage. As the curtain dropped with dramatic aplomb, flame-haired frontwoman Hayley Williams instantly commanded attention. Marching, stomping and dancing her way around the stage, her talent for performance was eclipsed by one thing only: her astonishing voice. From a lively delivery of RIOT! favourite That’s What You Get to a tear-jerking snatch of Fleetwood Mac’s beloved Landslide, she proved her chops as a gifted and versatile songstress.

Of course, it was not just Williams’ gig, with long time bandmates Taylor York (guitar) and Jeremy Davis (bass) completing the trio. Taking the recent departure of two band members in their stride, they have clearly embraced the classic adage ‘the show must go on’ – an attitude that was personally reflected by guitarist Taylor York, as he was faced with the unenviable challenge of playing with a sprained ankle. He passed with flying colours however, even employing a ukulele to accompany Williams in cute little variety show style interludes. In between hits like Decode, When It Rains, Last Hope and a beautiful acoustic rendition of The Only Exception, Williams held the audience in the palm of her hand, entreating even the most long-suffering parents to get up on their feet for ‘three minutes only’ and dance to monster hit CRUSHCRUSHCRUSH. Only one highlight among many, an encore of chart-topper Still Into You (replete with green and gold balloons and reams of confetti) was the perfect finisher for a truly excellent show.


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