"We are Twenty One Pilots and so are you", lead singer Tyler Joseph declares before the American duo take their final bow. The screams don't stop as they stand on stage, hand over heart, nodding 'thank yous' to their adoring fans.
Joseph is not wrong, playing puppet-master throughout the 90 minute set. This two person band isn't a two person band at all, but instead the ringleaders to something much larger; a revolution. That's if the kids with painted necks, balaclavas and red face paint are anything to go by. There is a camaraderie between artist and fan that exceeds what is usually expected. Each song is sung in part by the crowd, without prompting. They just know.
Powering through the songs from their newest album Blurryface, with some older tunes thrown in, the main part of the set list ends with a dramatic finale of Car Radio. In a puff of smoke Tyler Joseph is gone; only to reappear on the balcony, with a single spotlight and face covered by a black ski mask. It's a little unnerving to see a band throw themselves so recklessly yet confidently into a performance.
A chilling medley of ballads 'Goner and Trees' make up the encore, before Joseph and drummer Josh Dun climb on top of the crowd. Quite literally and not for the first time this evening. Standing on platforms held by their fans, the show ends just as dramatically as it started. Confetti and cryo jets fill Brixton Academy while the sounds of screaming compete with the drumming of Twenty One Pilots.
The Ohio band's sound has been described as 'schizophrenic' and 'genre-less'. It might not be the easiest to get on board with, but it makes for a spectacular live show. At times it feels more like a theatre production than a concert. Flowing between pop, hip hop, electro and indie rock sounds; with a few costume changes and a lot of lights; no stone is left unturned and no detail sacrificed.
Selling out two nights at Brixton Academy with only one song reaching the UK top 40, Twenty One Pilots might just be the most popular band you've never heard of. They may not be making the biggest splash on the charts, but they're making fans where it counts.