Arts, Music, Off Campus

Chainsmokers Captivate Packed TD Garden on ‘World War Joy’ Tour

The Chainsmokers lit up TD garden on Friday during their Boston stop on their World War Joy tour not only with their contagious energy, but also quite literally with torches and lots of pyrotechnics. 

Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, the duo that makes up The Chainsmokers, have been making music since 2012, and their experience in the music industry was well presented. The tandem has had a lot of radio success over the past few years, with “Closer” featuring Halsey, “Who Do You Love” featuring 5 Seconds of Summer, and “Takeaway” featuring Lennon Stella—the latter two featured artists appeared as openers at the show, putting faces to the electronic voices.

Lennon Stella opened the night with a 30-minute set of original music. Her look and sound mimicked Ariana Grande, with slower songs and a very smooth voice. Stella bled one song into the next, only stopping to talk to the audience once or twice for a few seconds at a time.

5 Seconds of Summer then took the stage, drawing roars of approval from the then much fuller arena. The band opened up with an assortment of news clips and award presentations on their behalf, which increased the volume of screams. As soon as 5SOS stepped out on the stage, it captivated everyone’s attention—even the obvious Chainsmoker fans were enjoying the show. Its setlist included an array of old and new songs, perfectly mixing together to form a comprehensive catalogue of its albums to date. 

The beginning of the setlist, however, felt slightly rushed, as the band worked its way through some of its newer music: One song morphed into the next, and none of them were fully finished. It gave fans the chance to hear many of their favorite newer songs, but the hype around each one was compromised by trying to squeeze them all in.

The band engaged with the audience more than Stella did, with screams coming from the audience each time they mentioned Boston or asked how everybody was doing. All four members talked casually with one another, giving the show a very inclusive and comfortable feeling. 5SOS definitely knew what its were doing in terms of audience engagement, talking about how Boston was one of its favorite places to play, asking if everyone was excited for The Chainsmokers, and getting everybody out of their seats to dance and sing along.

The Chainsmokers made an explosive entrance onto the stage with the duo and their drummer carrying flares to center stage. If anybody had any expectations of what was going to happen during the concert, they were shattered as the three of them stood with their flares burning for about a minute before they headed to the drum kit and DJ stand. 

The pyrotechnics didn’t end there: Fire of all sorts was scattered throughout the night, with curtains of sparklers and other flames popping up during different songs. The most impressive showing of fire, however, came when the drummer executed a drum solo with flaming drumsticks. The only reactions in the audience were silence from complete shock or screams from adrenaline junkies and intoxicated millennials, pleading for him to keep going.

The shock value didn’t end with the fire, though, as the band brought motorcyclists on stage to ride around the catwalk, and later all over the metal walls of a spherical cage lowered down from the ceiling. At one point, Taggart climbed on board a levitating bridge, which proceeded to raise him up toward the ceiling of the arena. Taggart took his own turn in the metal cage as well, climbing the walls as if he were an animal.

The Chainsmokers queued up a wide array of music, running the gamut from their old and new music to samplings from “7 Nation Army” (which caused everybody to scream) and “Shout,” among others. The Chainsmokers covered their biggest hits with care, piping in the voices of the featured artists while Taggart sang along. Taggart made sure to engage with fans during some of the guest artists portions of the night, jumping off the stage and giving hugs to fans in the pit.

The musical climax of the show was when 5SOS joined The Chainsmokers on stage in the middle of their set to perform their hit, “Who Do You Love.” The whole audience was up on their feet, jumping and screaming along to the lyrics. It meshed perfectly with The Chainsmokers’ setlist, and gave a moment of sanity to a show that seemed like a drug trip gone right.

Featured Image by Jess Rivilis / Heights Staff

September 29, 2019