Owl City bring new tunes to Boston

A review of Owl City at House of Blues on Sunday, June 26 2011

, Managing Editor

When Adam Young began his musical career he was a kid suffering from insomnia writing music in his parent’s basement. This, plus his apparent fascination with nature as seen through mega-hit “Fireflies” and much of his other material, it’s no wonder that Young named his musical outfit after a nocturnal animal. Like the owl, Young proved once again that he does his best work at night with a show at the House of Blues on Sunday.

Touring in support of their recent release, All Things Bright and Beautiful, Owl City opened their set with “The Real World”, the same way their new album opens. Young and his five-member band went heavy on the new material with about half the set made up of All Things Bright and Beautiful tracks.

The new album stacks up quite nicely from start to finish as did Owl City’s set. Their confidence in the new material was clear, not just from the amount that was played, but especially in the fact that they performed their claim-to-fame, “Firefly”, in the middle of the show. Young and co. would take the show to the finish with three of the singles from the new album. “Alligator Sky” saw the group go in a hip-hop direction with contributor Shawn Chrystopher making an appearance via video screen. “Deer in the Headlights” sounded like a pop gem destined for heavy radio play before the main set closed with the danceable “The Yacht Club”, which got the House of Blues floor bouncing.

Young was extra bubbly throughout the night, likely riding high on his confidence in the new tunes. The singer frequently gushed over the Boston crowd saying things like “Boston, I kinda have a crush of you” and “I live in Minnesota but I’m thinking about moving to Boston… it’s so cozy!”. Fans returned the embracement and begged for “one more song, one more song!” as the band took off before the encore. They would actually do the fans one better as Owl City returned for two. The All Things Bright and Beautiful iTunes bonus track, “How I Became the Sea”, preceded “If My Heart Was A House” before Young pandered on last time to the adoring crowd as he yelled out “Go Bruins!” the cap off the evening.

Although Owl City’s new album hasn’t yet spawned anything remotely close to the success that “Fireflies” was, with a set heavy in All Things Bright and Beautiful they proved that their new songs can keep an audience, and for a young artist known mostly for one hit that’s an important step forward.

Setlist
The Real World
Cave In
Hello Seattle
Angels
Umbrella Beach
I’ll Meet You There
Hospital Flowers
The Bird and the Worm
Lonely Lullaby
Firefly
Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust
Kamikaze
Galaxies
Alligator Sky
Deer in the Headlights
The Yacht Club
Encore
How I Became the Sea
If My Heart Was a House

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