“Hello Chicago” – Owl City stuns at the Metro

On Friday September 25th, Owl City arrived at Chicago as part of their Ocean Eyes album tour. The electronic band from Minnesota, headed by Adam Young, stunned a crowd of close to five hundred at the Metro in downtown Chicago.

As my brother and I drove up to the theater, conveniently placed right next to Wrigley field, we saw crowds of high school and college students lined up all the way down Clark Ave. Although we arrived just fifteen minutes after the doors opened, we were relatively far back in the theater. The Metro itself is a relatively small venue in relation to others, there wasn’t a bad spot to stand in the theater.

After thirty minutes of standing packed in the theater like sardines, the show finally got started. Most concerts have at least one opening act and Owl City was no exception. We stood towards the back of the theater as some seventeen year old walked out on stage with a lion hat on. Yes, you heard me correctly, A lion hat. My doubts only greatened as he introduced himself as Unicorn Kid. However funny this kid looked, I couldn’t help but start dancing along with the crowd as he started to play. I don’t actually know how much he was doing live, but the electronic synth runs and bass beats so loud you could feel your nose cartilage vibrating were more than enough to get the crowd even more pumped up.

Unicorn Kid played for about twenty five minutes before Norwegian singer and songwriter Kate Havnevik appeared on stage. I didn’t like Kate’s style of music as much as the previous act, but she was a talented performer and had a good voice.

When Kate finished, you could sense that the crowd was becoming antsy for Owl City to come out. Small technical details only furthered the anticipation, but all the tension was released when Adam and company walked out on stage. They opened with “Cave In”, a popular track off of the new album. Throughout the concert, almost all of the Owl City essentials were played, as well as some lesser known songs. After playing their entire set, Owl came back on to end with their most popular single, “Fireflies.”

If you have ever listened to anything by Owl City, you would think that a lot of stuff would be prerecorded at a live show; however this was not the case. Adam, who sang as well as playing synth and electric guitar, came out on stage with an incredibly talented ensemble of musicians. Breanne Duren, known for her previous work with lead singer Young, sang backup while playing two different keyboards. A cellist, violinist, drummer, and backup guitarist also added to the live effect. I would say probably 90% of all the music was live.

Throughout the entire show, the crowd was going crazy, singing and totally immersing themselves in the music. It was an incredibly fun crowd to be a part of, and the music definitely didn’t disappoint. If you are an Owl City fan, I highly recommend that you try and get tickets the next time they come to Chicago.