Live Review: The Chainsmokers, Bethlehem, PA, Aug. 2, 2019

Started in 1984, Musikfest is a 10-day festival beginning the first Friday of August in Bethlehem, Pa. Somehow, however, this was my very first time attending. I picked a pretty good year to go, though, with the Chainsmokers as one of the headliners. Musikfest has grown dramatically over the past 35 years, with close to a million people descending on the Lehigh Valley to experience all the diverse music, food, drinks and art it has to offer. 

The Chainsmokers kicked off the first night of the festival, performing on the Wind Creek Stage. A lot of music fans don’t realize how hard this electropop duo actually gets. They have a lot of pop radio hits, but they also kill their live DJ sets. What makes these guys so incredible live is the important role real instruments play on top of their electronic beats. 

At Musikfest, Alex Pall and Drew Taggart were augmented by a drummer. Their set, which lasted a little more than an hour, featured a lot of material from last year’s Sick Boy. Of course, they played their most popular hits as well, such as “Closer,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Something Just Like This.” 

An outdoor venue is a perfect place for the Chainsmokers to hold their DJ sets, as it gives them the opportunity to set off fireworks and confetti. Pall and Taggart definitely delivered a visually pleasing experience, with pyrotechnics at almost every beat drop. Despite forgoing an encore, the Chainsmokers put on extremely lively concert and were a perfect beginning to Musikfest. 

—words and photos by Samantha Geiger