Sheffield’s Leadmill is never overflowing and tonight doesn’t strain the trend. Bands of teenage girls dressed head-to-toe in Twenty One Pilots merchandise stand in loosely formed clusters, glancing hopefully at the stage for YouTuber-turned-singer-songwriter Bry.
It’s the first night of his UK headliner and the smallest show on the bill. Bry walks onstage to a curiously edited version of Twenty One Pilots’ “Ride”: “I’m falling so I’m taking my time on my” and if you can believe it “Bry”.
If you couldn’t tell, Bry is very proud of his recent European tour in support of the band. In fact, he manages to tie references to it into every aspect of his set. Every anecdote is related, a cover of “Tear in my Heart” breaks up his originals, and he even throws beach balls covered in self-portraits into the crowd in an ode to the ‘hamster ball’ feature of Twenty One Pilots’ Emotional Roadshow tour. This might be a tangent, but the plethora of references is distracting.
Bry is noticeably nervous from the start, forgetting words and even tipping his mic stand into the crowd half a dozen times. But for the first show of the tour, it’s expected there will be one to two flaws. He recovers smoothly, laughing off the mishap with a sarcastic comment and breezes his way through “Don’t Go Alone”, “Everything”, and “Fall In Place”.
His performance is engaging; Bry banters with the crowd about the weather and non-Premier League football teams in-between tracks. He even asks a fan, Caitlyn, to perform with him during an already flawless rendition of “Adventure Time”.
His set ends smoothly with an energetic encore of “Care” and “You’re Alright”. Then the show is over, the lights are up, and a hundred-or-so fans are singing his praises on the way home.
Bry’s music carries nostalgic and anecdotal narratives that translate beautifully to a live show. This alone is enough to inspire, it’s just unfortunate he cloaks it with something he thinks will impress: in this case, Twenty One Pilots.
Were you at the show? Let us know what you thought @CelebMix.