Twenty One Pilots fans go ‘Deadheads’ on us

Some bands, for whatever reasons, attract fans so loyal they go to as many concerts as possible, following the bands from city to city. Most have heard of the Deadheads loyal to The Grateful Dead and its founder the late Jerry Garcia. Twenty One Pilots, the duo arising from an indie band in Columbus (OH), drew their followers to Jacksonville (FL) this week, ahead of the June 14 concert. It’s not the fact the band drew fans here from out of state or country that is intriguing. It’s the fans’ behavior that attracted coverage from local media.

Twenty One Pilots at Press conference of Soundbox in Bangkok. (Caption and photo by Sry85)
Twenty One Pilots at Press conference of Soundbox in Bangkok. (Caption and photo by Sry85)

Twenty One Pilots’ fans are so loyal many of  them braved late spring storms, humidity, and heat to camp out outside Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena. The fans hope to get through the doors first to get the best seats in the general admission section.

What so inspires fans they’ll put themselves through so much discomfort just to get close to their favorite musicians?

Emily Kutsmeda gave News4Jax her take:

“There’s just something with this fan base, first of all, it’s like, everyone’s just a family almost. It makes you want to go to more shows. It makes you want to camp more and meet more people. Also just being front row for that whole experience, when they come into the pit, and you get to hold up people who have like… saved your life…it’s just everything,”

I’ve listened to music by Twenty One Pilots—it fascinates me although sometimes, the lyrics come off as very obscure. The song ‘Chlorine’ is a great example of that. I’ve read some commentary that suggests the song is about suicide. Others posit it’s about doing drugs. Frankly, I don’t know what it’s about. Here are the opening lyrics:

“Sippin’ on straight chlorine, let the vibes slide over me
This beat is a chemical, beat is a chemical
When I leave don’t save my seat, I’ll be back when it’s all complete
The moment is medical, moment is medical
Sippin’ on straight chlorine

Lovin’ what I’m tastin’
Venom on my tongue”

I can see why some see a suicide theme, but then again, chlorine is a necessary chemical. Without it, we’d have some seriously serious illnesses going.

I give Twenty One Pilots an A+ for doing something different, and for making it in an industry that’s one of the hardest to succeed in. The band has made history in a big way, setting records with their three times multi-Platinum album Blurryface. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun accrued a lot of clout with their songs that seem to touch fans in a remarkable way.

I give the fans an A+ for being loyal, even if I personally can’t imagine standing in Florida heat and rain for any band, even when I was young and experimental. I will confess I’ve stood in heat and rain for my daughters, though–it’s part of my ‘job’ as senior roadie. 🙂

(Kay B. Day/June 14, 2019)

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