The Chainsmokers brought their crate full of hits to SXSW on Thursday night (March 16), with Alex Pall and Drew Taggart taking the stage at Sony's party around around 12:30 a.m. to a noisy, pitched-down remix of "Closer." With no live band, the duo went bare bones with just some DJ equipment and microphones, sliding right into party-rocking mode, matching outbursts from their smoke cannons with fragments of neon electro, trap, and a "Rock And Roll All Night" remix.
Pall mostly danced in place, while Taggart spun around the stage singing "All We Know," as the pair moved between playing their radio smashes and bits of other people's, including the "Can we get much higher?" intro from Kanye West's "Dark Fantasy" moments before queueing up their own early single "Kanye."
Every once in a while they'd throw in some surefire crowd-pleaser like the opening music from The Lion King or Bill Conti's Rocky theme song, "Gonna Fly Now," triggering a more euphoric version of the melancholy nostalgia that has become their default compositional mode. Mostly they threaded dubstep and electro-house instrumentals between hits from Twenty One Pilots or T.I., never staying in one place long enough to challenge anyone's attention span.
And they say rock is dead -- #TheChainsmokers
A post shared by Stereogum (@stereogum) on Mar 16, 2017 at 11:36pm PDT
And if you think "Under The Bridge" Red Hot Chili Peppers karaoke is easy and basic, how about Taggart singing Smash Mouth's "All Star" lyrics over the "Closer" music? Because that definitely happened too:
The Chainsmokers performed a very special version of "Closer" last night pic.twitter.com/zm2k3PX50Q
- Chris DeVille (@chrisdeville) March 17, 2017
To read the full review of the Chainsmokers' SXSW set, visit Stereogum.