REVIEW: Chainsmokers impress with over-the-top performance


Olivia Babn

5 Seconds of Summer perform with the Chainsmokers Saturday night at INTRUST Bank Arena.

After selling out the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Friday, the Chainsmokers headed to INTRUST Bank Arena with guests 5 Seconds of Summer and Lennon Stella. INTRUST was not sold out.

I bought a cheap seat at the very back of the arena. When I arrived, my seat was upgraded to the floor for free because they closed off the entire top section. While it was an exciting turn of events for me, it seemed to be a testament to Wichita’s EDM fans. I’m sure having a sold-out Lana Del Rey concert in Wichita on the same night didn’t help.

Lennon Stella opened the concert. Her set was full of good, modern pop music. Stella’s outfit was gorgeous and so was she, but her stage presence was not there. For the most part, she aimlessly walked around the stage or awkwardly held a guitar she barely played. I didn’t recognize the artist until her last song when she played her hit, “La Di Da.”

The arena was filled with two types of people — people there for 5SOS and people there for the Chainsmokers. When the tour was announced, the groups talked about how they wanted to team up because of how different their music is. They said it seemed like a good chance to bring people from different genres together.

It succeeded in bringing them to the same place, but I’m not sure it really “brought them together.”

5SOS was the second opener, starting with “She Looks So Perfect” from their 2014 self-titled album. Their energy was high and they played phenomenally. The group really come across as best friends just having a great time. From joking with each other on stage to dancing together, it’s easy to see their connection.

A good chunk of the audience remained seated for the entire performance, including Wichita State Provost Rick Muma and his partner, who were seated not too far from me. 5SOS addressed the lack of enthusiasm, asking if the lead singer Luke Hemming’s green shirt was to blame.

The whole crowd was jamming, though, when 5SOS played Blink-182’s hit, “What’s My Name Again?” When Mark Hoppus, bass guitar for Blink-182, came on screen expressing his permission for 5SOS to play the song, you could feel the excitement grow.

5SOS was well aware that members of the audience were mostly there for the Chainsmokers and an EDM concert. They still put on a great show and had most people dancing and singing along by the end, but there isn’t much you can do for people who just aren’t fans of pop-rock music.

The energy changed dramatically when the Chainsmokers came out with smoke and lasers, like a true EDM show. I’m not going to lie — I didn’t expect an EDM concert, though I should have. I expected the set to consist mostly of their pop songs I hear on the radio.

The Chainsmokers did a good job of playing to the audience. They played hit after hit, and not being a huge fan of the Chainsmokers, I knew every song. Everyone was on their feet dancing and having a good time. About an hour into their set, the Chainsmokers brought 5SOS back on stage to play “Who Do You Love.” It’s worth noting that Luke Hemmings had changed into a red shirt.

That was truly the moment everyone in the audience was one — singing along, dancing, all bonding over their love for the song and both artists. When the song was over, people there for 5SOS started leaving. Those people missed out on one of the most anxiety-inducing and amazing moments I’ve experienced from an arena tour.

The Chainsmokers brought out some motorcross riders who did a cage show with girls standing in the middle while riders rode around them. It was an unexpected surprise that really wowed me.

Overall, the concert was a surprisingly good time.