I'm An Idiot: The Time I Ran Into Tyler Joseph Mid Show

A 6'5" Man in the way was not part of the act...

October 12, 2018

by David Conger

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We spend the majority of Deck The Hall Ball missing the live musical performances as we dance between interview, meet and greets between bands and listeners, and cruising the crowd to say hi to you. On average, I see one song per set so I can get a feel for how the bands sound and the mood they conjure.

Deck the Hall Ball 2018 is here...

So there I am, at Key Arena, having just crossed the floor from our VIP lounge on my way to the broadcast area. Twenty One Pilots are murdering - they stole that show - and it’s a spectacle to behold. Tyler Joseph jumps onto and off of his piano - the same one drummer Josh Dun leaps from nailing a backflip. During soundcheck, we had been alerted that they would do crazy stuff off of the stage, too. Midway through the set, Tyler disappears only to reappear up in the stands amongst his wild fans. I stop in my tracks in front of the security that lines the floor along the wall at the rim. Tyler is gone again while Josh entertains on the drums. The singer reappears, this time at the back of the room alongside the soundboard. He’s fully in his comfort zone as a performer, people in awe lots of them screaming for him.

He’s trying to take the entire audience on a journey - pretty literally around Key Arena.

by David Conger

Ha, look at all those people that don't see him running right by!

Tyler sees an opening and sprints back along the edge of the security lined concert floor fully sprinting to get back on stage and finish the song, “Holding On To You”. That’s when the unexpected snare in the plan stops him dead in his tracks. A giant of a man, standing like a dumb old tree blocks the path before a boy who would otherwise climb it. At 6’5”, I am that tree. I have credentials. I’m standing where others who aren’t working can’t. The look on his face started at “oh shiiit” and evolved to “dooooooood, moooooove!” (in a low slowed down voice) over what felt like an eternity.

Me being the slow-moving Ent and Tyler being the bouncy super fit performer, his brain switches modes to improvisation before the crowd can realize that he’s within arms reach. With a single decisive action movie move, he changes direction putting his hands on a security railing and bounding over it to the safety of side stage.

Deck the Hall Ball 2018 is here...

He has to dance around guitar techs and sound engineers all while keeping the music moving forward.

He’s right back into singing the chorus from his usual spot on stage albeit a bit more winded than usual.

The whole conflict took fewer than 5 seconds - barely noticeable on the iPhone fan recordings- but it created an exhilarating rush like when you’re changing lanes on the freeway and the person in front taps the brakes just as you leave your lane.  He’s immediately back in his comfort zone with about half the set left to finish and zero more excursions into the crowd.

If nothing else, I hope that Tyler in the future has a little extra preparation for his journeys among the fans in case he should run into some dummy who throws the plan into temporary but exciting chaos.

I am 100% confident that Tyler Joseph would not recognize me or probably even remember that moment at that show, but for those milliseconds of panic, we shared an uncomfortable moment. I for the rest of the night, of course, felt like an idiot.

Here's the phone video of the whole affair though it's a bit too bumpy to make it out. Just watch how he ends up by the sound engineer side stage rather than front and center like he planned!

The setlist that night:

  1. Heavydirtysoul
  2. Stressed Out
  3. Polarize
  4. We Don't Believe What's on TV
  5. Lane Boy
  6. Holding on to You
  7. Ride
  8. Tear in My Heart
  9. Car Radio
  10. Guns for Hands