On January 19th, UConn students ventured to Wallingford, Connecticut, for an exclusive and captivating performance – and it all came about in a rather unique and refreshing way. Initiated by Tilt, a crowd-funding service targeted towards helping college students put together finances for almost anything imaginable, this event was the kickoff to the first ever Tilt Tour. A six-stop run, the tour featured headlining electronic DJ duo The Chainsmokers, comprised of Drew Taggart and Alex Pall. The premise of this effort was simple, yet novel – students across over 90 college campuses raced to pre-sell 800 tickets, which would secure their spot as a destination for the tour.


UConn’s Tilt Ambassadors welcoming guests to the show.

The winning colleges were defined by whichever six were able to “tilt” the fastest, which is the company’s terminology for a successful fundraiser in which a predetermined monetary value is met, bringing any given cause significantly closer to realization. The winners, including UConn, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of California, Davis, California Polytechnic State University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Texas at Austin all “tilted” within two hours of each other. UConn came out on top, reaching the goal of 800 tickets pre-sold by 9:32AM on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015.


Opening DJ CSMS setting up the night.

Connecticut locals RCTP and CSMS opened up the evening proper. The energy built exponentially as students poured into the venue. The majority of attendees endured a lengthy drive to get to the event and most of them were eager to get into the concert area and out of the icy weather. University regulations and administrative barriers were likely forces behind the organizers booking the show at the Dome in Wallingford, almost an hour away from UConn’s Storrs campus, but shuttles had been arranged to bring students to and from the venue. While some attendees reported witnessing chaos as organizers struggled to encourage fair and safe boarding of the vehicles, no setbacks could get in the way of the evening going off without a hitch.


The Chainsmokers kicking off their set in style.

The Chainsmokers answered the energy of the crowd with their own expertise, seamlessly blending the melodic peaks that they’ve become known for (check out their biggest singles ‘#SELFIE,’ ‘Kanye,’ and ‘Roses‘) with more aggressive bass-laden drops, reminiscent of the heavier club sounds that have been infiltrating the American dance music scenes. A few outlier tracks kept things fresh throughout the mix, including Drowning Pool’s ‘Bodies.’

Tilt representatives claimed that since the initiation of this project, artists have been knocking on their door to see how they can get into the action of fan-sourced concert tours. This was the first (or at least the most publicized) attempt of its kind – and if this run is any indication, it surely won’t be the last.

Check out some more photos from the show below.


Drew Taggart of The Chainsmokers switching up the energy, singing along to ‘Under The Bridge’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers with the crowd.


Concertgoers braved the front for some of the best views of the show.


The Chainsmokers commanding the crowd.


UConn students enjoyed a night of electronic music after their first day of classes.


Alex Pall in the mix.

Photos and words by Scott Hoffmann

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