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The Chainsmokers Lit Up the Pepsi Center During World War Joy

The Chainsmokers Lit Up the Pepsi Center During World War Joy

Kierstin Rounsefell

November 23rd, 2019

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Electronic Music Masters

The Chainsmokers

Alex Pall and Drew Taggart make up the Electronic-Pop duo, The Chainsmokers. Originally from New York, these Los Angeles based boys have been producing music since the early 2010s. After getting their start by remixing various Indie tracks, they dropped their first original single “#Selfie” in 2014. This track reached number one on the Billboard Dance charts and sold millions of copies.

Since then, The Chainsmokers have released countless remixes, singles, EPs, and albums. Their first EP, Bouquet, preceded their Grammy award-winning single, “Don’t Let Me Down” with Daya. In the year 2017, the duo released their album Memories…Do Not Open which started their transition of sound from hard-hitting EDM to more Pop with Indie elements.

The Chainsmokers

EDC Las Vegas, Lollapalooza, and Ultra Miami are just a few major festivals that The Chainsmokers have played at. In addition, they’ve also played various international festivals, have embarked on multiple world tours, and held residencies at different clubs in Las Vegas. As of this year, The Chainsmokers are currently the world’s highest-paid DJs according to Forbes.

World War Joy

On Tuesday, November 19, The Chainsmokers brought their World War Joy tour to over 18,000 fans at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. This huge arena is home to the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche, but is also the perfect place to hold shows for extremely well-known artists.

There are three floors in the building with access to three seating levels. Food, drink, and merchandise vendors fill each lobby area outside of the actual arena so there is plenty for attendees to do when they’re not watching the show. For each event, the Pepsi Center’s seating chart is slightly different. All seating was reserved including the back half of the floor for this specific show. The front half of the floor consisted of general admission with standing room only.

Lennon Stella and 5 Seconds of Summer

20-year-old Lennon Stella was the first act of the night. This blonde beauty sings the vocals on “Takeaway” with The Chainsmokers and Illenium. Her simple thirty-minute set consisted of subtle visuals, her, and a microphone stand. Some fans up front knew the words to all of her Pop hits including “La Di Da“, “Kissing Other People“, and “BITCH (takes one to know one)“.

5 Seconds of Summer was up next on stage and by this time the arena was completely full. A lot of attendees that night had handmade posters and had come specifically for them. This Australian boy band has been around since the early 2010s as well, and has more of a Punk-Pop feel. They opened with a song that everyone knew the words to: “She Looks So Perfect“.

5 Seconds of Summer

Since they were a full band, this set was full of energy and also had more production. Luke Hemmings (lead vocalist), Calum Hood (bass guitar), Ashton Irwin (drums), and Michael Clifford (guitar) had the audience engaged and jumping for various songs, including “If Walls Could Talk“. Later on, they asked everyone in the arena to put their up phone flashlights for “Ghost Of You“.

Michael’s birthday happened to be the day after the Denver show, so at one point in the night the band had everyone sing him happy birthday. The Australian band was really starting to feel the altitude towards the end of their set, noting feeling out of breath or feeling sick. However, they pushed on and finished strong with “Youngblood“.

Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford

Getting “Closer” to The Chainsmokers

Finally, The Chainsmokers took to the stage! They had quite an introduction, complete with tons of lights, smoke, descending light panels, and even fireworks. The production and rigging that made the setup of the stage were absolutely stunning.

Matt McGuire and Drew Taggart

Three huge LED screens were used on the back of the stage as well as various panels made up of multicolored lights. An elevated platform in front of that was where their drummer, Matt McGuire, was staged for most of the night. In front of that was the DJ booth complete with CDJs, drum pads, and a keyboard. The massive stage was also attached to a long runway that Drew ran out on throughout the night to be close to each part of the audience.

They performed “Takeaway” as one of the first songs and they brought out Lennon Stella who sang live vocals. Everyone on the stage had an insane amount of energy and brought the whole venue to life. They made use of the runway in addition to the whole main section of the stage.

An Unforgettable Night

Their set consisted of a healthy mix of their own old hits and their new music along with remixes of other popular tracks. “Push My Luck“, “Paris“, and “Closer” with Halsey were all performed. They also, unsurprisingly, brought out 5 Seconds of Summer for their remix of “Who Do You Love“.

The Chainsmokers

Throughout the night, various pieces of the stage transformed or lifted to showcase different pieces of the set. For example, a piece of the runway slowly lifted into the sky for one of Drew’s solos. Additionally, a different piece of the runway became elevated as Matt performed a drum solo with drumsticks that were on fire! At one point, The Globe of Death even descended from the ceiling and 3 motorcycles did stunts inside of it as pyrotechnics and CO2 blasters went off.

Before the show ended, Drew spoke about their collaboration with Chris Martin from Coldplay. According to Drew, Chris called them one day and wanted to get in the studio together immediately. The Chainsmokers dropped what they were doing and flew to Malibu to meet Chris. They met him at a nice studio on the beach, which was surely very inspirational. Then, The Chainsmokers performed “Something Just Like This“.


In conclusion, The Chainsmokers absolutely blew the audience away on Tuesday night. It was an extremely impressive live performance that we would highly recommend anyone to attend if they have the chance. Even though their new albums are mostly Indie-Pop focused, their show incorporated a lot more Electronic Music than was expected. Additionally, their production was on such a large scale for an indoor venue which made for a beautiful show.

If you weren’t able to attend the Denver show, don’t worry! The Chainsmokers chose the Denver location to film a VEVO special, so you’ll soon be able to catch the amazing production and energy from the comfort of your own home. If you’re someone that would like to see this live, however, The Chainsmokers are continuing their World War Joy tour until the end of the year in North America. Next year, they’re going international.

The Chainsmokers and Lennon Stella

Click here to view upcoming tour dates and purchase tickets!

Photos by Simon Quince

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