It has taken me a really long time to get around to writing the Brussels post. Partially because between now and then I have had to return to Real Life, but mostly because Brussels was probably my favourite show of the tour and I wanted to do it justice. And it definitely felt like it was one of Josh and Tyler’s favourites too. Sometimes there is just something special, an extra level of intensity between the band and crowd that is both subtle and extremely powerful. I don’t really know what it is, I just know that the Brussels show had it.
Brussels was nice because there was a big group of us all going together – aka these idiots.
We all met up at the airport. It was actually the most stressful flight of my life because someone almost missed the boarding, mentioning no names… *cough* Kat.
But we all made it and it was only about an hour to Brussels.
We made it to the venue – the Vorst Nationaal at about midnight.
Obviously the squad pic was necessary.
Only four other people were already there, one of them being Pia from Berlin and Prague and it was so, so nice to get to spend another show with her.
Emma and Jack joined us there and a little while later we were also joined by Marina and Becka.
Queueing in Brussels was… wet. It literally rained for 18 of the 19 hours we were queueing and everything got soaked; my bag, my clothes, everything.
Luckily Emma, being the hero that she is, brought wine and we all ended up spending several hours huddled in a bus stop, drinking wine and wondering why the fuck we were homeless in the middle of Belgium anyway.
We ended up having a laugh though, like when a drunk guy fell asleep with his pants down, while taking a piss on one of the tour buses. And when a group of us went to this random cafe and stood outside the door before it had even opened, totally soaked and begged the guy working to let us in. And when five of us crammed into an uber and the guy kept telling us he could only take four people so we ignored him until he drove us anyway. And when Ellie met her hero Mark from ReelBearMedia while literally wearing a binbag.
All the waiting in the rain amd crying into Belgian waffles was worth it though, because the show itself was actually iconic.
We were centre barrier and it was honestly the most amazing feeling getting to experience the show with these guys. Singing along and doing the Lane Boy crouch-jump and rapping terribly to Ode To Sleep and crying during the medley and nearly getting killed by a grown man in a hamster ball all became even more special because I was doing it with them. We all got to have this crazy, amazing, emotional experience together.
But the show didn’t just feel special for us; the entire crowd was so into it, and so were Josh and Tyler. Heathens, which is always on another level, totally ignited that venue. We Don’t Believe Whats on TV was unbelievable amounts of fun. And when they went to the B Stage, it was actually really amazing to be focused not on the band in front of us, but on us. We all grouped up and totally lost ourselves in the music – jumping and singing to Ode To Sleep together is one of the best memories I have, me and Emma smashed that rap in Forest and I just know I held onto Cora so tight during Kitchen Sink. This band has done a lot for all of us, and every single one of us one way or another was brought together through them. And I just became so acutely aware of how lucky I was in that moment.
*Ahem* So anyway, back to Twenty One Pilots.
Holding Onto You is one of my favourite songs, and one of my favourite moments of every show because Tyler comes into the crowd for the first verse. Every show, he looks out at the crowd and chooses where he is going to go, and he just climbs up and stands on our hands and we hold him up. I have been fortunate enough to have been stood on by Tyler Joseph several times and let me tell you, that boy is heavier than he looks.
But anyway, Cora had brought her pride flag along and when Tyler was looking out to the crowd he looked directly at us and came right over. And I am telling you, it was because of the flag. He saw the gays and he came for the gays.
I did have to spend a lot of the time trying to hold Tyler’s foot away from Cora’s face so that he didn’t actually kill her, but nevertheless it was an amazing moment.
Just to make the show even more special, a butterfly somehow had made its way into the room and flew onto stage, where it stayed for the rest of the set. Tyler spoke about it during Trees and then, when the show was finished, James the butterfly flew right at us on barrier. It was the perfect end to a perfect show.
I love this band. And I love the people I spent that show with. Getting to be in a room with so many people that mean so much to me, being at that one place where we all truly belong… well, it kind of just felt like home. And I wish I could go back.
But I wasn’t quite done after Brussels. Me, Emma, Jack and Cora immediately made our way to Paris. How we did it, I have no idea, but we did.
So, until Paris gets written up,