Twenty One Pilots staged perhaps their most high profile performance yet as the musical guest on the Lin-Manuel Miranda-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live. Miranda joked in his monologue that despite his Hamilton success, he’s still not a household name. The same can be said of Twenty One Pilots, whose 2015 LP Blurryface quietly went platinum earlier this summer. SNL helped both inch closer to universal recognition.
The duo of frontman Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun kicked things off with “Heathens,” the breakout cut from the chart-topping Suicide Squad soundtrack. Compared to the glitchy, lurking version currently dominating radio, Twenty One Pilots instead whipped up a more soaring, orchestral take on the single for SNL.
For their second performance of the night, the Columbus, Ohio duo scooped up “Ride” from Blurryface. Like “Heathens,” “Ride” currently resides in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, even though Blurryface – which still in the Billboard 200 Top 10 – was released almost 18 months ago.
Twenty One Pilots, who Rolling Stone called “the Biggest New Band of the Past Year,” have generated an ever-expanding fan base thanks to the duo’s almost uncategorizable spin on rock. “There was a lot of pressure to find a genre and stick to it,” Joseph told Rolling Stone. “People would tell me all the time, ‘You can’t be all things to everyone.’ I would say, ‘I’m not trying to be! I’m being what I want to be for myself.'”