The Chainsmokers bring competing sets to sold-out ‘Pittsburg’ show
The Chainsmokers suffered from commitment issues Saturday night at PPG Paints Arena. They swayed back and forth from a DJ set to a full band set, with the latter being the better choice.
The electronic duo gave the sold out Pittsburgh crowd a near two-hour set, with pyrotechnics, fire, lights, streamers and just about anything you can shoot into the audience. The highlights of the show were the band’s most popular songs, “Closer,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Paris.” All three songs had loud sing alongs from the crowd and were some of the loudest of the night.
But while they are debatably the bands most popular songs, what set them apart was there was at least one live instrument playing on them, whether it be Andrew Taggart’s voice singing, keyboards, piano or drums from the live touring band. So frequently, the group went from live instrumentation to DJ-ing, which inevitably was less exciting even with the fire, pyro or other entertainment elements added to make the DJ-ed songs more interesting.
It seemed that The Chainsmokers all too frequently drew from the DJ aspect of their sound and tried to make PPG Paints Arena feel like a club. That idea got old very quick over the course of their two hours on stage. They had interesting visuals play behind them during the show, ranging from Flintstones-style versions of themselves to clips of an animated couple in different situations played out over the concert.
There were also multiple segments involving iPhones, with Taggart calling and texting fellow member Alex Pall, scrolling through Pall’s phone and playing music when Pall disappeared from the stage, among others. Their stage also went through different transformations as it raised and lowered, a light set came down and turned into a staircase, light fixtures were arranged and rearranged creating an illusion of the stage getting larger and smaller.
The night and their set ended with an encore of “Last Day Alive,” the last track of their first full-length album “Memories…Do Not Open,” released on April 7. The full band version of the song was met with much applause, before being dampened with a misspelled “Thank You Pittsburg” sign that came down at show’s end. It was obviously unfortunate, but even more so because Taggart made it a point to talk about how great the city had been to The Chainsmokers and not every city was as enthusiastic as Pittsburgh
Hopefully, the next time the duo is back they will move to a completely full band set and do a little spelling research.
Zach Brendza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1288 or [email protected].