Photo by Cassie Marsoliek
In the midst of their sold out fall tour, Owl City made its way back to its home state of Minnesota. Having the show in one of the oddest venues in Minneapolis, there was a more than apparent differentiation between the colorfully dressed teens and the leather-draped bikers. On most nights, The Cabooze and neighboring bars are a haven for Minneapolis bikers. Despite the strange setting, the crowd came out in groves and lined up all around the venue hours in advance for the much anticipated sold out show.
The supporting acts were quite interesting, as both were from across the pond. Having bands from Europe, added a lot of variety to the show.
The first act, Unicorn Kid, was not much different from Owl City. He was also an electronica-based band, or which I like to call it, a "MacBook Musician". Although both bands were electro-based, I felt like Unicorn Kid was a great opener, because unlike Owl City, Unicorn Kid was more upbeat. With its quirky dance beats, fast bass notes, and Nintendo-like sound bits, it definitely got the crowd going. I also forgot to mention that Unicorn Kid uses no vocals. At first I was a bit disappointed, wanting to hear his Scottish accent, but the song mixes were done very well. As the show progressed on, I viewed Unicorn Kid more as a rave DJ than a band. The Scottish lad had great stage presence along with his unique look accompanied by his trademark "lion hat". I look forward to Unicorn Kid touring around the states in clubs and dance vicinities, along with the likes of Daft Punk and Girl Talk.
The second act was a female singer from Norway, Kate Havnevik. Her sound was a totally different tone compared to the rest of the tour. She reminded me a lot like Imogen Heap and Frou Frou. The similarities included music that puts you in a trance accompanied along by a very soulful voice. Having Kate Havnevik sandwiched between two electro-based bands brought variety to the show. However, I felt that her songs were too mellow to be accompanied by the danced-fueled electronica bands.
As the show was nearing the end, the sold out crowd was anxiously waiting for Owl City to hit the stage. As Adam Young, the 'young' man behind Owl City, hits the stage, the crowds roared with excitement. Along with Young, he was accompanied by a multi-pieced band. With some familiar faces, Breanne Duren, who is featured singing on many of Owl City's songs, there were many new faces as well. Along with the drummer there was also another back up vocalist and a cellist. This band has not only grown in popularity, but in band members too. Back when I first saw Owl City, it was just Young accompanied by one of his best friends and later on, another to play drums.
The full band sounded really good and actually made Owl City more of a band rather than one individual on a laptop. Having all those other musicians on stage wasn't just aesthetic, it was also audibly different. With the extra instruments and extra vocals, it really brought Owl City to life. Even though Owl City didn't play as much older stuff as I would have wanted them too, it was still a great show. Most of the set list was compiled from his new album 'Ocean Eyes', which has been getting rave reviews.
Overall I believe the crowd, many who have seen Owl City before and many for the first, was pleased with their performance. This is definitely not the last we will see of Owl City, as they are getting more and more attention everyday. After this fall tour in the states, Owl City will jet-set overseas to start its East Asia Tour. Expect big things coming from our hometown hero.