Chainsmokers at Viejas Arena by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

The Chainsmokers Make Everyone Let Go at Viejas Arena with 5 Seconds of Summer

The Chainsmokers were 35 shows into their World War Joy Tour when playing in San Diego with special guests Lennon Stella and 5 Seconds of Summer. The Chainsmokers have been on the charts for a while now and have changed the meaning of what it means to be an EDM artist. In 2015, with one of their most popular tracks ‘Roses’, the perception of The Chainsmokers was that of DJs who were making it big. Now in 2019 The Chainsmokers are still talented DJs but have also refined their skills with the addition of live instruments with Drew Taggart playing guitar on some tracks and with the addition of a drummer Matt McGuire in their midst. 

Chainsmokers at Viejas Arena by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

The Chainsmokers released the first single off the World War Joy EP with 5 Seconds of Summer on the track “Who Do You Love” and collaborated with Lennon Stella on the track “Takeaway” which is now their top track on Spotify. 5 Seconds of Summer is an Australian rock band best known for their tracks “Teeth” and “Youngblood.” They received their biggest recognition from their third album Youngblood and there is a lot of buzz about their new album that is being released in 2020. Lennon Stella is from Ontario and has been in the spotlight since she was twelve years old when she was part of the duo Lennon and Maisy. In 2019 she gained a lot of popularity with her songs “La Di Da” and “Kissing Other People.” Her debut album set to come out in 2020.

5 Seconds of Summer has begun a new era with glitter and glimmering conviction as they entered The World War Joy Tour. They have transitioned from boyband to rock band in the last year with an obscene amount of growth with their Youngblood  album and their two singles “Easier” and “Teeth” which inspire a culty and dark vibe. 5 Seconds of Summer came out to the stage at Viejas Arena with confidence. When they played “If These Walls Could Talk” Calum Hood said, “San Diego, let’s fucking dance,” which made the crowd go wild. The track sounded so full and the band really emphasized the outro and melody which made the song sound more powerful and impactful than the recorded version. 

One of the most stark differences I noticed when seeing 5 Seconds of Summer tonight was their stage presence. Both Michael Clifford on guitar and Calum on bass switched sides multiple times throughout the show and there was no doubt that this next hour was their time. They went all out and it was obvious with Luke Hemming’s vocals and Ashton Irwin’s drumming techniques. Luke walked the stage from every angle, Ashton constantly reminded the crowd he was there with his witty comments and passionate drumming, Michael hyped up the crowd, and Calum danced around.  If I could describe their overall performance it would be comfortable. They were comfortable in the music they had created themselves and wanted to share that with long-time fans as well as people that were hearing their music for the first time. Even though many fans came to see The Chainsmokers, 5 Seconds of Summer’s “Ghost of You,” inspired every single person in the arena to hold up their flashlights and sway to the music. 

Chainsmokers at Viejas Arena by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

The Chainsmokers have grown so much since 2015. What struck me most about The Chainsmokers was their ability as performers to make an entire stadium, full of people all ages,  jump and put their hands in the air. There is so much that can be going on in your personal life before you walk into a concert and it was inspiring to see how once the duo Drew Taggart and Alex Pall along with drummer Matt McGuire appeared on stage– it seemed like everyone’s worries had been forgotten. The impact of Matt McGuires’s drumming skills became very apparent when ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was played in the beginning of the show. His beats added more depth to the track and it hit different. 

It was also surprising and refreshing to see Drew sing on most of the songs that they played that night– “Closer,” “Roses,” “Paris.” The Chainsmokers are definitely flexing all the skills in their arsenal as they expand their reach as not only DJs but as artists and entertainers.

Chainsmokers at Viejas Arena by Mashal Rasul for ListenSD

Every single person was acting like their craziest self when they played ‘This Feeling’ that was the entire point of the show. It was to dance like you do when you’re alone in your room and having a good time but The Chainsmokers were able to bring this experience to an arena where most people didn’t know each other and got them to let loose. It’s a gift that should not be overlooked. 

The theatrics of the show were also quite impressive when they brought out a giant ball that Drew climbed into to sing ‘Sick Boy’ and then later when they brought out three motorcyclists that raced around inside the ball with two female conductors inside. Fearless.  A sweet moment of the show was when Drew asked if the audience could put their lights up as he sang. He sang and danced around throughout the entire show and Alex backed him with the beats and it was inspiring to see an artists be their own hype man and love the music that they make. 

Both 5 Seconds of Summer and Chainsmokers were two bright lights in San Diego that night. 

Photos by: Mashal Rasul 
Review by: Dominque Torres
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