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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review + Setlist: Owl City Sweetens Up the Pageant, May 5, 2010

Posted By on Thu, May 6, 2010 at 10:59 AM

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Those who are only familiar with Owl City's number-one single "Fireflies" already has a pretty good idea of the band's sound. Even without such a heavy reliance on keyboards, the live set maintains the twinkly sweetness of the records through vibraphone and glockenspiel. And while Young's voice could be charitably classified as a high tenor, his female pianist often lent harmony to his high, breathy vocals. At some point, though, the onslaught of sweetness was like adding a packet of sugar to a can of 7-Up: there's gotta be some salt to even out the flavor. Luckily, the cellist added some low, scraping notes during "Dear Vienna," and the drummer's stuttering beats made the song a dark-tinted reprieve amid the oft-blinding sunshine. The textured, ambient tension returned for the intro to "This is the Future," which featured droning strings and bowed vibes before hitting lift-off.

Last night's show was a make-up date: Young had to cancel the January 23 concert due to an emergency kidney stone operation (which he joked about and apologized for during "The Technicolor Phase"). While interest in the band was higher a few months ago, it was worth the wait for the throngs of boys and girls pressed close together during Owl City's songs of young love, true faith, and wide-eyed naiveté, And that's not a slam on Young or his fans; there's something to be said for teenagers singing along to songs of innocence instead of songs of experience. Owl City could hardly be less threatening - Young's songs live on a diet of ice cream and chocolate kisses, dappled by an eternal summer's sun. If you're old and jaded, Owl City's virginal pillow talk and odes to hand-holding can seem beyond fey. But if you're young, or young enough to remember that initial blush of first love or the challenge of crafting your identity, Owl City offers words of encouragement and recognition from a fellow traveler.


1. "Umbrella Beach" 2. "The Bird and the Worm" 3. "Air Traffic" 4. "On the Wing" 5. "Hot Air Balloon" 6. "Dear Vienna" 7. "Fuzzy Blue Lights" 8. "Cave In" 9. "This is the Future" 10. "Dental Care" 11. "The Technicolor Phase" 12. "Fireflies" 13. "Meteor Shower" 14. "Vanilla Twilight" 15. "The Tip of the Iceberg"

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