It might have been a windy, chilly night in Toronto down by the waterfront on Tuesday but no one at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre seemed to be bothered by the weather at all.
The night kicked off with The Netherlands’ alternative pop group Chef’s Special. Shortly after 7:30, New Orleans’ Mutemath took the stage and their energetic 40-minute set of alternative/pop/electronica jams warmed up the crowd even more. But when lead singer Paul Meany dropped the names “Tyler” and “Josh”, the thunderous applause and giddy cheers that erupted left no doubt as to what everyone was anxious for.
And at 8:45, the duo – whose popularity over the last year has seemingly exploded – made their appearance and spent the next two hours proving why those accolades are so well-deserved.
Decked out in their signature red suit jackets and black ski masks, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun first teased the screaming crowd with the intro to Blurryface’s “Fairly Local” before launching full force into the album’s opening track, “Heavydirtysoul”. That set the tone for the entire night. The crowd (of all ages) was pumped and that enthusiasm maintained as people danced in the aisles and sang along to every word.
If you’ve ever read reviews of TOP’s live shows then you’ve seen the phrases “best night of my life” or “greatest concert ever” thrown about. And I’m sure for many, Tuesday night was exactly that experience. But much more telling are the comments about what great, interactive entertainers Tyler and Josh are. Whether they’re performing onstage gymnastics, switching up their wardrobe, strumming a ukulele or covering Justin Bieber (or even Celine Dion – yes, we all sang passionately and unashamedly along as they covered “My Heart Will Go On”), they have this concert thing down pat and seem to have an absolute blast doing it every night.
Several songs into the show, the lights went down and there was a brief intermission. All of a sudden the boys appeared again, but this time on a small stage set up on the walkway behind the 400s level, complete with drums, keyboard and dry ice machines. Much to the delight of those on the lawns, they played a few songs there while everyone else stood on their seats or ran up to get a closer look.
Another recurring praise for TOP is that they know how to make every song feel like it’s your favourite. It speaks volumes to a band’s talent when there are no lulls in the show – they certainly have a lot of surprises up their sleeves and manage to keep everything feeling fresh and energetic. As the night drew to a close and Tyler thanked the crowd for their attendance, he commented “Every night, Josh and I come out and wonder if there’ll be anyone there”. Well, he can rest assured – given their ever-growing popularity and skill at live performance, there doesn’t seem to be the danger of an empty venue anytime soon.
Heavydirtysoul (with Fairly Local intro)
We Don’t Believe What’s on TV (with House of Gold intro)
Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover)
Ode to Sleep
The Pantaloon / Fall Away / Johnny Boy / Forest / Addict with a Pen / March to the Sea / Kitchen Sink
Holding On To You
Twist and Shout (The Beatles cover)
My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion cover)
Love Yourself (Justin Bieber cover)
Jump Around (House of Pain cover)
Guns for Hands
Tear in My Heart
June 7, 2016