Earlier this week, Twenty One Pilots made it clear how badly they want the next Billboard 200 No. 1 album. Ahead of the big reveal expected this Sunday, the Ohio duo gave the lead single from their new LP Trench a live national television performance at the 2018 American Music Awards.
Thoughts on A Trench Is Born notwithstanding, this performance was just awesome. “Jumpsuit” is a heavy, cathartic song to begin with, and Twenty One Pilots emphasized all its best points before the Los Angeles crowd. Tyler Joseph sang its words and strummed its ominous bass notes with purpose, and Josh Dun drummed like a man possessed, per usual. Added electronics above the driving bass line gave it just enough presence to fill the Microsoft Theater, without sounding overdone. And the stage design — a black-and-yellow backing screen that fell and gave way to fiery pyrotechnics and a flame-engulfed car at one of the crescendos — was a solid complement to Dun and Joseph’s fury.
It’s also likely to be the only televised award show performance any time soon featuring a bassist-lead vocalist who breaks into screaming, unless of course, we’re including a Twenty One Pilots return.
Watch the band’s full performance of the Alternative Songs chart-topper below.