Sunday, at the early hour of 7:45am on the morning after the first of two sold-out shows for the band Twenty One Pilots at Oakland's Fox Theater, there was already a long line of diehard fans camped outside the Uptown district concert hall. That line, which snaked down along the sidewalk on Telegraph Ave. and round the corner onto 19th Street down toward San Pablo Ave, was made up primarily of the young devoted fan base that the wildly popular Ohio pop/indie-rock duo have steadily built up since forming only six years ago. Some were there to also catch local SF band Finish Ticket who, along with Echosmith, are on Twenty One Pilots' current Blurryface tour - one which is sold out solid every night through the beginning of December.
Signed to the Warner-distributed Fueled By Ramen label, Twenty One Pilots is comprised of Tyler Joseph (vocals / piano) and his old friend Josh Dun (percussion) who joined him two years into the band timeline replacing original members Chris Salih and Nick Thomas. The group formed in 2009 in Columbus, Ohio where soon after they had established a large, dedicated hometown fanbase drawn to their diverse pop-rooted rock style sound. They usually get filed under "indie rock," but in actuality their sound transcends that label and encompasses other elements such as electro, reggae, and rap. For example their current popular single "Stressed Out" (not to be confused with the similarly titled song by A Tribe Called Quest) is an infectious pop track with rap verses interspersed throughout. It's a pop song with rapping rather than a hip-hop track with pop music instrumentation.