The Chainsmokers have had an awesome year so far. Drew Taggart and Alex Pall, the band’s dynamic duo, just won a Grammy for “Best Dance Recording” and dropped their debut album, Memories…Do Not Open, just last week. With the start of their “Memories…Do Not Open Tour,” we now get a chance to experience what makes the Chainsmokers one of the biggest mainstream EDM artists of the decade.
Now usually when I arrive at a concert, I get a pretty quick idea of what the show is going to be like just from looking at the people attending; Tampa’s Amalie Arena was no different. As I wait in line for the venue to open, I see thousands of people waiting anxiously to get inside. They’re young, energetic, and restless — the perfect way to describe the night as a whole.
As I make my way to the main floor, the first thing that catches my eye is the large metal wall standing on the edge of the stage, towering over the crowd. The arena lights cut. Taggart stands alone on stage under a spotlight, texting on his phone. During this skit, his text conversation appears on the wall before the rising into the ceiling. Both Pall and Taggart get behind the DJ table and slowly begin to rise into the air; the music begins to play. As the duo dances around, the bass begins to slowly build up.
“Four, three, two, one!”
The moment they drop the bass during their first DJ set, I know it’s time to party. While the weight of the bass pulls my body down, the upbeat melodies that the duo is known for making you feel weightless. I don’t want to just stand staring blankly through my cell phone’s camera viewfinder — I want to just cut loose and dance the night away. The bass is heavy, the music’s pace is growing faster and faster, it’s trying to keep up with our heartbeats.
Sparks and fire shoot out from cannons on stage only helps to keep adrenaline going, regardless of whether you’re standing in the very front of the dance floor or in the very back row of the nosebleeds. I hear snippets of Panic! At the Disco’s “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies” and various samples of songs by Daft Punk.
In-between their DJ sets, the band performs a variety of ear worms, including “Don’t Let Me Down,” “Paris,” and the ever-catchy “Closer.” Emily Warren’s appearance on stage about halfway through the set and the moment she sings “Don’t Say,” all eyes are on her. Her voice fills up the room and perfectly compliments the band as they perform with her. Tony Ann, a pianist touring with the band after being discovered playing Chainsmokers covers on YouTube adds a classical twist to “Closer” and “Paris,” resulting in a unique take on two songs that get hours of radio play.
When Taggart picks up his guitar, the high levels of energy that he channels throughout the night seems to simmer down until he sets the guitar down.
Kiiara is the most chill part of the show. She gives off a very relaxed, cool girl vibe while on stage, but her voice is capable of igniting a fire inside of you. She catches my attention throughout her set, especially as she performs her hit, “Gold.” Kiiara may be a featured artist on Linkin Park’s new single “Heavy,” but she proves she owns that song, perfectly hitting every note.
DJ K?D (pronounce Kid) proves to be one of the most unique experiences when it comes to EDM. With his style and beats being influenced by his likes and interests, K?D begins his set with the opening line of the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion’s “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis.” While he remixes popular songs, like Migos’ “Bad and Boujee” during his set, K?D does sprinkle in some remixes I didn’t expect, including a remix of Kingdom Hearts’ “Dearly Beloved,” winning over any and all gamers in the crowd.
If this show is any indication, the Chainsmokers aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, ain’t ever getting older, and will without a doubt have you hooked on their music by the end of their show.
The Chainsmokers Live Review 2017 and Live Concert Photos by James Strassberger.