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There’s a lot of nostalgia that comes along when I talk about Owl City’s music. I spent a good amount of 2009 to 2011 (circa-middle school….yikes) listening to Adam Young’s voice.
At one point, I probably knew every word off of his 2009 record Ocean Eyes. I taught myself how to play Fuzzy Blue Lights and Hello Seattle on the piano. I used to listen to The Saltwater Room whenever I thought of my middle school crush. I also just cringed very hard when I thought of that.
“With your ear to a seashell, you can hear the waves in underwater caves as if you actually were inside A SALTWATER ROOOOOM.” Yeah. Sometimes I think I peaked in middle school too.
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The point of exposing my darkest days, braces and transition lenses glasses and all, is to show how integral Adam Young’s Owl City was to my childhood. I used to listen to The Technicolor Phase while doing homework. I remember watching the music video to Fireflies and thinking it was the cutest, most creative thing I had ever laid my tiny pupils on.
Owl City was the soundtrack of my middle school.
I must admit, however, that I left Owl City behind when I left the “RAWR xD” phase. And since then, the last I had heard of Adam Young was when Good Time with Carly Rae Jepsen dominated the radios and Fireflies became an internet meme. Admittedly, that was one of my favorite meme trends.
When I saw that Owl City was going on tour again, I was pretty surprised. Owl City? He’s still making music? Interesting. I gave his 2018 record Cinematic a shot, and I was even more surprised. All My Friends sounds nothing like his 2008 Swimming in Miami. The first sound of guitar in All My Friends was really stirred up some cognitive dissonance.
Although there are some sound differences, the record still stays true to the wholesome Owl City lyrics. But otherwise, he stays decently true to old Owl City. The record is still mostly upbeat electronica, and I still find myself feeling nostalgic when I hear his voice.
Young opened his set with Verge and a beautiful guitar-heavy introduction. For the most part, his set kept to his 2015 Mobile Orchestra record and Cinematic. But then, at song 6, he played On the Wing, followed by Hello Seattle. I grinned the entire time.
The most surprising part of the show wasn’t Adam Young himself, but instead, the crowd. In my most cynical, self-centered mind, I genuinely thought most of the crowd were going to be people like me. Young 20’s, old fans who wanted a throwback to middle and elementary school.
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.
A good chunk of the crowd was composed of current Owl City fans, donning Mobile Orchestra shirts and holding Cinematic posters. The age of this dedicated body ranged from both young children to people my age. Oh, and their parents, of course.
Also, mad kudos to whoever designed the set. The twinkling lights in the background playfully paralleled Fireflies and the fake flowers around the cold, metal bars of his instruments made the stage feel very ethereal.
I will also admit, I’m currently listening to Fireflies and I really can’t help but to tap my feet to the beat. Somethings never change…apart from my less angsty demeanor, of course.
Find me at your local concert!