Live From Los Angeles
starring Owl City
Eagle Rock Entertainment
For a guy with a bit of a comb-over, Adam Young is a pretty sharp-looking teen idol. Owl City came to life in the internet jungle of the 2000s and shows what you can do without the Major Labels. While Young performs all the instruments on his albums, he's hired some solid back-up people for this gig at Club Nokia in L.A. Stylistically, he mixes classical music with indie pop sensibility and soulful vocals. His stage show shines here; if not for the spinning blue LED lights, you'd think you were in the synthetic foliage section of Hobby Lobby. Behind Young are multiple drummers, wandering keyboardists, and fresh-looking women playing the viola, violin, and intimidating synthesizers. Dark blue lights give a moody, gloomy illuminating to his upbeat and life-reinforcing lyrics. "The Real World" takes us into a Dream Time for modern pop fans with its distinctive vocal, and Young soars above the mundane electric rock opening on "Cave In." Later he tells the audience "look beautiful ... oh, yeah, this is LA, no problem." And it's true: the clean-cut faces of the young and prosperous fill the crowd, all looking oh-so-Nantucket Brands.
"Hello Seattle" opens with an electronic loop that takes us back to The Pet Shop Boys' Imperial period, and "The Bird and the Worm" exudes charm and love and makes you want to go out and adopt a kitten. "Lonely Lullaby" is a soft quiet song dedicated to a child, and you always appreciate a quiet time mid-concert. Later on, there's a holographic rap artist projected in to "Alligator Sky", and some topical Occupy Wall Street social relevance sneaks into "Deer In The Headlights". Yes, Virginia, you can find love while peacefully resisting arrest and taking your pepper spray like a good citizen. By the time "How I Became the Sea" comes around, hands and cell phones are waving and the mood feels like the last song at senior prom. Even the security guys have a tear in their eye. I keep waiting for the auto-tune to kick in, but Mr. Young has class. Class, a beautiful voice, and a crowd of adoring fans. You might consider becoming one; they seem like beautiful people with nice cars, low cholesterol, and a taste for fine fashion. And check out the tilt shift stop motion video in the interview segment, it's gorgeous.