Kelly Milionis - Contributing Writer
Matt Vogel - Photo Credit
Adam Young brought his Owl City electronic musical project to life during his Chicago tour stop at the Vic Theatre Saturday night and there really was no mistaking what the show would be either, filled with electronic synth pop songs written specifically for top-40 radio, and screaming fans of all ages. Young, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who plays all of the instruments on his records, kept the presentation simple with an always-moving light show and stationary backing musicians that provided just enough of a backdrop necessary to give the nearly packed theatre a rip-roaring fun time. Young has a knack of penning continuous top-40 pop hits like the quadruple platinum “Fireflies,” “Deer in the Headlights,” “Gold,” and his latest smash hit “Good Time” with Carly Rae Jepsen.
Early in the evening, fans found themselves standing in a long line in the brisk, chilly Chicago weather outside The Vic Theatre near the corner of Belmont and North Sheffield Avenue. Due to an extended sound check, the doors to the venue opened late and the line stretched from the venue’s front door on Sheffield around the building down into the West Fletcher Street neighborhood passing underneath the Belmont Red line platform. When the doors finally opened, concertgoers were a bit anxious to get directly to the headliner, Owl City. Opening act, Matthew Koma, took to the stage at 7:55pm and definitely felt the heat, attempting to play a mixture of electronic dance music covers and his pop originals over fans screaming for Owl City to take to the stage right away.
During the set change, and what seemed by many to be an eternity of a wait, songs ending on the house sound system were met with thunderous applause as fans thought the show was about to start. Even the raising of the black stage curtain was met with loud clapping and deafening screams. Then, at 9:03pm, it happened: House lights down, followed by a musical intro with bright stage lights as Young took the stage solo starting into “Dreams and Disasters” and his remaining bandmates found their positions. Young was center stage, dancing about and singing into his microphone, then picked up a guitar and finished the song with a series of white and blue light flashes. And this was how it would be all night, Young effortlessly going from song to song, singing only or singing while playing his guitar - and dancing, always dancing.
Young’s banter with his audience was effortless as well. He gave thanks many times during his set and he received nearly unanimous responses to his requests for hand waving and audience participation in sing-alongs. He is well known for his openness with his fans and has been at the forefront of technological advancements and social media usage in his career, as his early adoption of MySpace played an integral role in his popularity and has ultimately helped lead to his enormous success…a viral phenomenon. Young did perform a new song, “Hey Anna,” that contained the signature Owl City sound and left many in the audience with the feeling that this phenomenon, that is Owl City, will continue.
Owl City is:
Adam Young – vocals, guitar
Breanne Düren – keyboards, backing vocals
Jasper Nephew – guitar
Daniel Jorgensen – guitar, vibraphone, bass
Steve Goold – Drums
Owl City Set-list:
Dreams and Disasters
Tip of the Iceberg/Cave In
Speed of Love
The Real World
Deer in the Headlights
Coming After You/Umbrella Beach
Hello Seattle remix/Hello Seattle
Hey Anna (new song)
Take It All Away
Good Time featuring Breanne Düren on vocals