It’s May 2015. I’m in a tiny, 200 capacity room at the Deaf Institute, Manchester surrounded by a crowd of people I met only that day, but who had immediately welcomed me into their clique.
I nearly hadn’t made it to the show. And I didn’t plan to make it until the day after the show, either.
But the band we were eagerly waiting to step onto the stage, with its bright red parrot wallpaper and cozy proximity to those of us in the front few rows, was Twenty One Pilots. And they were about to change my life.
There is something about Twenty One Pilots that is as indescribably powerful as it is desperately vulnerable, something about the way they understand things about being human, and the way they express and articulate that understanding, the way their music connects with you, and the way you connect with them, something about the way their fans interact with each other, and the unspoken truce between us and them that makes Twenty One Pilots so much more than a band.
At that show, I also made that truce. To stay alive. To try, to give everything I had to the fight.
And four years later, I am still making that decision. Every single day. Thanks to them, and thanks to their music, and thanks to the incredible friends I have found through them.
I’ve followed them across the UK, to several different countries, to sleep on various different pavements outside various different venues. And I have had the most incredible time doing so.
Twenty One Pilots are not a band. Twenty One Pilots are a feeling; the feeling of being alive and being fucking glad to be. They are a family and a home. They are a reminder, living proof, undeniable hope. They are a celebration. We are Twenty One Pilots, and so are you.