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LAST MONTH TWENTY UP THE BLURRYFACE one pilots WRAPPED HOMETOWN ERA WITH A TRIUMPHANT RETURN! HERE, THEIR PHOTOGRAPHER PERSONAL THROUGH BRAD Heaton TALKS THE SHOTS AND US THE SHOWS…
LIFE HAS changed immeasurably for twenty one pilots since the release of Blurryface in May 2015. Over the past two years, that album has turned Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun into Grammy-award-winning, Hollywood-moviesoundtracking superstars.and last month, the duo laid it to rest with an incredible hometown return.tøur De Cølumbus was a run of five shows, starting at tiny 300-capacity sweatbox The Basement, ending at the 18,809-capacity Schottenstein Center, and the band’s photographer Brad Heaton – also an Ohio native – was there to snap the lot.
“I’d say it was a utopic wrap of the Blurryface era,” explains Brad.“we came home, did the five shows and at the very end of the last show we felt this sense of relief. At the end of it, it wasn’t a question of:‘what’s next?’ it was more like,‘hey, it’s over… it’s the end of this movie, and we know that the next movie is not coming out for however long. It felt like we’d come full-circle.”
The shows themselves were as crazy and wonderful as you’d expect. Hundreds of fans turned up to the opening night at The Basement, and just lined the streets for the duration of the show.“this one’s for the fans outside,” Tyler would say multiple times during the set, and you’d hear everyone out on the street cheer.
While at the bigger 2,200-capacity Express Live! venue, on the third night,tyler’s stunts were literally deathdefying. He scaled the open-air venue’s roof, and had concert-goers gasping as he performed against the city skyline.“that roof was tin, it was sloped downwards, and it started raining beforehand…” explains Brad.“so I was hoping he wouldn’t get too close to that edge and slip, ’cause it would have been very hard to catch himself.”
The personal highlight for the photographer, though, was an art exhibition the band put on for the fanbase where 500 people showed up just to speak to him.
“It’s great to interact with such a passionate fanbase,” he smiles.“and it’s super-cool that everyone’s appreciative of my part in it.”
NEXT MONTH, thousands of punks will descend on Blackpool’s Winter gardens for four days of musical anarchy at Rebellion Festival. it’s a packed bill featuring the likes of Slaves, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Pennywise,teenage Bottlerocket and many more.
Bad Religion are set to headline the empress Ballroom on August 3, and guitarist Brian Baker – a man who knows a thing or two about punk, what with being the guitarist in the legendary minor Threat and Dag Nasty – cannot wait. “This is my favourite festival to play, it really is,” says Brian.“i’ve loved it forever and played there last year with Dag Nasty.
“Bad Religion played it when it was a little smaller  and it hit me on all the right levels. it was like punk Quadrophenia! it’s awesome and real. it’s great! if it didn’t cost so much to get over there, i’d just come and see the show. Hopefully I can find a way to sneak onto the bill next year, too.” With so many bands to choose from, we called upon Brian to pick his Baker’s half dozen…
“Thanks to Menace, aged 16, I had to figure out what the greater London Council was! There were so many British bands i was into then, it was like a whole different vocabulary that you couldn’t get from Monty Python.the G.L.C. single was the first one i had.there’s a rawness to it and i’m Civilised is still one of the best songs ever.they’re playing on the same day [as us] and i might be able to make it.”
“They were a huge band to us in the U.S. and had great songs.at the time, lyrically, Jimmy Pursey was so inspiring. he wasn’t punk-looking or a fashion guy – no spiked leather jacket or mohawk – but he had an incredible passion. his lyrics were about everybody and it really struck a chord with us. We’ve done Sham 69 covers.they’re legendary.”
“The UK Subs are great. i’ve seen them a bunch of times.any chance to see [frontman] Charlie harper] is something everyone should take. he’s a national treasure.”
“When the punk scene had more than 30 people in it, you started to define yourself like,‘i know you’re really into the Sex Pistols, but i found these other bands.’ me and group of 10 punk kid friends stumbled onto [1979 album] god’s Lonely men and they became one of our favourite bands. She Knows is an awesome song.”
“my favourite punk band was The Ruts. When malcolm Owen died and they released [1981 album] Animal Now, i was not ready for the dub aspect. i was too young. i didn’t understand them until years later. Last year, i got to see Ruts DC acoustic which was my highlight of Rebellion Festival. i was excited to be in the same room as drummer Dave Ruffy, and it was inspiring how good they are. everyone should see them. i’ve been stealing guitar riffs from them for 36 years and it’s awesome. i’ve stolen West One maybe 15 times. i really appreciate it.”