Live review: Owl City @ the Ogden TheatreBy Andrew Brand | April 15th, 2010 | 2 comments
If Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service had a less talented younger brother, Owl City frontman Adam Young would probably fit the part.
That may sound overly harsh, so perhaps it’s better to label Young as a Disney-fied means of presenting synth-pop-indie-rock to future hipsters. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
Every song during the first half of the set was a fun, poppy, sometimes toe-tapping three-minute adventure with eclectic storytelling lyrics that ranged from a trip to the dentist to a walk through corn fields. All too quickly, though, after about a half dozen songs and three short, awkward “How are you tonight, Denver?” missives from the outwardly nervous Young, the set dragged.
There was not enough to distinguish one song from the other and every tune seemed to bleed together. Yeah, one song would have a xylophone or violin solo, while the next would contain 30 seconds in the middle dedicated solely to synth keyboard notes. Other than those little variations though, it sounded like the same song was blandly repeating over and over. I was in the minority at the concert (as I assume I might be on the comment board below.) The last chord or note of every song knocked the sold-out Ogden crowd out of their Owl City lullaby-induced trance and into a frenzy of applause and screams.
Owl City’s music wasn’t the only sensory entertainment. Nine colorful and extremely bright panels of LED lights flickered and scrolled along with the music — so much so that if someone in the audience had epilepsy, well, I hope they were able to turn around in time. If there was a bright light-producing contest between the stage and the crowd though, the outcome might have ended up closer than you’d imagine.
Apparently Owl City’s entrance to the stage was the cue for the audience (who resembled the demographics you’d expect to see at a high school dance — with some chaperones) to begin viewing the concert through the glowing LCD screen of their digital camera or cell phone.
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Andrew Brand is a Denver-based writer and a regular contributor to Reverb.
Denise Chambers is a Denver freelance photographer and regular contributor to Reverb. See more of her work here.