The Chainsmokers Bring Out Kehlani & MAX, Plus More Highlights From Epic Pepsi Generations Summer Concert

Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Pepsi
The Chainsmokers perform at the Pepsi Generation Summer Concert at the Hollywood Palladium on July 24, 2018 in Los Angeles.

The Chainsmokers brought their undeniably catchy EDM-pop -- and a couple of surprise guests -- to the Pepsi Generations Summer Concert on Tuesday night at the Hollywood Palladium, transmitting a dance bug throughout the crowd from behind their turntables.

Drew Taggart and Alex Pall admitted to their fans that they rarely get to play in Los Angeles, but as Taggart entered the stage with a red flare for the red-hot summer night, everyone was in for a treat. Here are six highlights from show:

 

MAX Starts Off the Concert with 'Savage' High Notes

MAX kicked off the summer celebration with Whethan's single “Savage,” also featuring Flux Pavilion. The Rags to riches singer -- the singer has shot to fame as a musician following his role in the 2012 Nickelodeon film -- sported a blue sequin collared shirt to christen the night. In addition to "Savage," MAX performed “Lights Down Low,” the breakthrough hit from his 2016 album Hell’s Kitchen Angel and a softer ballad with sweet guitar strums to let the audience’s ears rest from the bass rumbling throughout the Palladium for the entirety of the night.

The Forecast of the Show Includes Fire Bursts, Smoke Streams & Confetti Showers

The effects of the show roused the crowd, visually accompanying The Chainsmokers' sonic storm. A large pop noise greeted the first beat drop of the night and the background visuals projected on the large screen created a comic book vibe with dynamic high jinks playing behind the duo -- there was a computer screen typing about the “Sick Boy” and crashing, a Megatron-looking creature, and demonized Marshmello-like people with neon pink eyes and synchronized dance moves. The Chainsmokers are all about the laser show, as dazzling, multicolored light beams danced off the wall opposite the stage. From taking us through a forest simulation during “All We Know” to entering an enchanted and haunted mansion with a neon rose during “Somebody,” the concert felt like a scene right out of Beauty and the Beast. Maybe the beast was the bass and the beauty was how we felt everything right in our chests, down to our tiptoes, including the heat from the occasional fire bursts that felt potent no matter where you were in the venue.

'Paris' Proves The Chainsmokers Aren’t Your Average DJ Duo

“We never get to play in LA, but this song is named after a city in France,” Drew said before performing “Paris” from their 2017 Memories...Do Not Open album. His vocals sealed the deal that The Chainsmokers don’t just DJ: Alex’s synths and Drew’s singing are the key ingredients to their medley of talent. Just because they’re easily one of the most famous EDM duos around the globe doesn’t mean their whole career revolves around a turntable and some headphones.

The Duo Put a Spin on Michael Jackson & Beyoncé Classics

The one-night-only concert didn’t just celebrate the present, but also the past of Pepsi-sponsored talent, from Michael Jackson to Beyoncé. As The Chainsmokers reimagined Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” as a club banger and Beyoncé’s “7/11” as a sped-up trap mix, fans adjusted to the electric vibe. The Chainsmokers also remixed “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B, “Habits (Stay High)” by Tove Lo, “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada and more for a bevy of dance anthems.

Kehlani Dances Off Her Microphone Mishap With 'CRZY'

Despite not performing here often, The Chainsmokers knew the drill: When in LA, you bring out special guests. It’s a privileged move, but the duo played their cards right and brought out Kehlani for one song. “Just because we’re in LA,” Drew explained. She started singing “CRZY” before fans were quick to point out that her mic wasn’t working. Once everything was smoothed over, the Bay Area native jammed to her set with smooth dance moves and vocal dexterity. 

'Everybody Hates Me' Seals the Mesmerizing Night

Alex played a moody piano melody in the dark -- the crowd's first time without lights since the duo stepped onstage -- for their “Everybody Hates Me” performance to close out the show. Drew appeared shirtless as he stood on their center table for the song's vulnerable lyrics: “I walk into the club like everybody hates me/ I’m talkin’ to myself, shit, now they think I’m crazy.” The grand pop noise that started the show ended it too, and the audience felt the sensation in their chests as the sounds and lights came to a close.