The lineup couldn’t have been more perfect last Tuesday at Hammerstein Ballroom when Finish Ticket, Echosmith and Twenty One Pilots threw down a powerhouse trifecta of music for what was dubbed the “Blurryface” tour.
Having only been exposed to Finish Ticket’s music when they previously opened for pop act Walk The Moon, I was eager to hear them in a larger venue to expand their already huge sound. Their sound was perfect for these last straggler days of summer, evoking images of lazy days on the beach and long drives with a car full of friends. Playing upbeat tracks “Scavenger,” power ballad “Bring The Rain,” and the guitar heavy “Wrong,” they put their songwriting skill on full display, backed up with intricate guitar work, inventive keys and strong, solid vocals. In my eyes, they’ve distinguished themselves from the pack of other. Since their show, I’ve found myself revisiting their 2014 release, Tears You Apart, on more than one occasion.
Shifting into second gear, Echosmith floated out onto the stage wearing the biggest grins I’ve seen in a while. Clearly happy to play to the unpredictable NYC crowd, the indie 4-piece of siblings played heartfelt music interwoven with positive messages and infectious handclaps. Their songs were easy to catch onto and sing along with, something I always enjoy. Songs like “Bright,” that saw the crowd illuminating the venue with mobile phone flashlight, and their most well-known tune “Cool Kids,” that had a wonderful message about accepting who you are won over everyone in the building. Rarely did I see someone standing still during their set. Lead singer Sydney Sierota didn’t hit one bad note all night, and looked positively adorable when she pulled a bright pink parasol out of her arsenal and twirled happily around the stage.
While the stage was being transitioned to Twenty One Pilots set, a loud boom went off and a cloud of confetti rained down around me. The premature burst was perfectly acceptable considering there were already at least 5 young ladies that had to be pulled out of the crowd by security, either passed out or crying, or a mixture of both. To say the crowd was excited would be an understatement. I saw tons of hands and necks slathered with black paint, while others wore red beanies in the now sweltering venue similar to lead singer Tyler Joseph. When the lights went down the roar was deafening. This was my first encounter with the band and from what I saw, it certainly won’t be my last. With Joshua Dun taking up residence behind the drumkit, the duo put on an all-encompassing performance complete with acrobatics, and lighting that I’m sure the lighting director spent months meticulously planning.
Tyler went through a myriad of outfit changes, from a skeleton hoodie, to what looked like a gauzy floral robe, down to a simple tank top and jeans and it all worked. Playing selections from their Blurryface, Vessel and self-titled albums, songs like “Tear In My Heart,” “Stressed Out”, “Ride,” and “Addict With A Pen” to name a few, really showcased Tyler’s wide vocal range and styles, from singing, to rapping, to chanting, to a mix of all three. He also took up a spot behind the piano and switched off to guitar from time to time during the show. Highlights also included the guys inviting a young fan up to show off the “secret handshake,” Joshua playing the drums on top of the crowd (yes, there was a drumkit on top of the crowd’s hands), and the finale when Tyler scaled up a tiny platform at the very back of the area to close out the show.
Truly an amazing night of music from start to finish, and one that I most definitely would have kicked myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes.
Article: Lesley Keller