This was a show that I didn’t exactly expect. I’d never seen Owl City before. I had been expecting this big, spectacled, over-the-top pop show, themed to hit songs he has written like “Good Time” (featuring Carly Rae Jepsen), a hit that took the Billboard charts by storm a couple of summers ago. What I got was something different, and I’m actually much happier with the result.
See, Owl City (aka Adam Young) is not a pop star; he’s a songwriter at heart. He’s a multi-instrumentalist that just a few years ago, dove headfirst into the hearts of listeners around the world with the track “Fireflies”. Since then, he’s released album after album featuring splendid musicianship (including his most recent effort Mobile Orchestra) and won numerous awards, including a Vevo Certification for the “Fireflies” video reaching one hundred MILLION views in 2013.
Owl City’s show is not an extravagant pop-star outing; it’s an intimate night in with a friend who essentially says “hey, I wrote a bunch of songs, and I’d love to share them with you”. The atmosphere at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco last weekend, where Young made his stop, was very relaxed. Nobody was pushing against the barricade; no fans were acting rabid. People just wanted to hear some good music.
Young only brought one opening act on the road, a talented vocalist by the name of Rozzi Crane. Her set was accompanied only by an electric guitar player (with the dials set to “Clean”), which really emphasized the power of her voice. Crane is signed to 222 Records, the imprint label of Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, so be on the lookout for more from her in the future.
Owl City’s set list traversed most of his career, going all the way back to 2009’s Ocean Eyes. The set list was heavily comprised of material from this year’s Mobile Orchestra (which makes perfect sense), and it went off well with the crowd in attendance. As I stated before, the vibe of the audience was much more relaxed as these songs were performed. Young performed a rendition of “Hello Seattle” before returning to the stage for a two-song encore, the latter track featuring Rozzi Crane returning for a fun duet (“Good Time”).
This has been another Shameless Promotion.