The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Live: Chainsmokers

American duo Chainsmokers take Manchester by storm with an ecstatic, non-stop performance, writes Lydia Ransome


Manchester Academy, 23rd February

Hit after hit, DJs Drew Taggart and Alex Pall worked the crowds last week at Manchester Academy with a show-stopping set list of EDM tracks and chart toppers. With an impressive light display and stunning visuals, the performance was not one to miss.

The pair, who have cited Pharrell Williams and Deadmau5 as influences, vary in their musical style but are predominantly EDM despite often transcending into pop and R&B genres. Drew and Alex have toured the world since breaking into the mainstream music scene in 2014 with their track ‘#Selfie’.

British DJ Nicholas Gale aka Digital Farm Animals starts off the night with an electric mix of old and new electronic tracks including Kygo & Selena Gomez’s new single ‘It Ain’t Me’ and Jonas Blue’s ‘By Your Side’.

The crowd are sufficiently warmed up for the night ahead and after a short interlude, the millennial DJ legends appear on stage.

Chainsmokers begin their set with a slowed down remix of ‘Closer’. The echoed tones and dimmed blue lights create an eerie atmosphere as the crowds wait in anticipation for the main performance. It’s not long until the crowd is booming with excitement, cheering along to the best in EDM tunes and Chainsmokers hits including ‘All We Know’ and ‘Kanye’. With every song there’s a new light show and accompanying on screen visuals.

Drew Taggart’s on stage performance was a huge part of the enjoyment of the night — prancing round the stage, effortlessly cool in a plain white tee, he knew how to work the crowd. Jumping from sound speakers at drops and singing along, his presence was a lot more noticeable than his fellow DJ Alex Pall. However, the two seem to make it work as a on-stage duo, with Alex on decks and Drew providing the entertainment and charisma that is arguably necessary for this type of music genre.

At times, the smoke and light display is borderline over the top. The extended version of ‘Paris’, a more relaxed pop track by the duo, about a third of the way into the set was met with confusion when mixed with a spontaneous fast-paced bass line and eccentric smoke display — this was perhaps a little inappropriate but still managed to get a positive reaction from the crowd.

Overall, the show was incredible. Chainsmokers brought a performance that would have been fit for an EDM festival straight to Manchester — think Coachella or Tomorrowland. The duo’s UK tour has now ended, but they will be returning in August for Creamfields festival. This is definitely an act that is worth seeing in your lifetime.

Chainsmokers – Roses