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Owl City Brings The Cinematic Magic To The Queen City

Owl City Plays Sold Out Show At The Underground

Owl City is quite simply a band like no other. The electronica project is the brainchild of musical genius Adam Young, who began his musical journey experimenting with different sounds in a homemade studio in the basement of his parents’ rural Minnesota home. Young began to make a name for himself through the use of the social networking site MySpace, becoming a viral phenomenon. His online accessibility and interactions helped forge a special connection with his fans and lovers of his music that carries through to this day. Adam’s unique blend of synth-pop and indietronica led to Owl City’s 2009 major label debut Ocean Eyes, a record that would top the charts and spawn a certified six time platinum single “Fireflies”.

 

After the success of Ocean Eyes, Owl City was a band on the rise touring with major acts like John Mayer and Maroon 5 and releasing several more chart topping records and even a Christmas song or two. Young’s songs have also made their way into a variety of animated films including Legend of the Guardians:The Owls of Ga’Hoole and The Smurfs 2 to name a few. His brilliant cover of Paul McCartney’s “Listen To What The Man Said” was a part of the Paul McCartney tribute album The Art of McCartney. Through all his success,Young has stayed true to his beliefs in the Christian faith igniting a passion and power to his music that is unsurpassed.

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Owl City’s latest album Cinematic was released this past June via Republic Records to much critical acclaim. The eighteen song record is full of Owl City’s signature fuzzy synths with Young’s stories of people he’s met and places he’s been. Owl City is currently out touring the U.S. in support of Cinematic and played to a sold out crowd this past Sunday evening at The Underground Charlotte.

As I made my way to the venue, the line to get in was wrapped around the block as eager fans had been lined up for hours in an attempt to secure a coveted spot up front. Adam’s special connection with his fans was on display as fans inundated the merch table to grab a shirt or a Cinematic tour poster.

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Fans crowded the barricade holding up a variety of signs that professed their love for the band. One young girl up front caught my attention with a sign that read “Owl City Saved My Soul” as she literally was shaking with anticipation.

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Opening up the evening’s festivities was a solid set from Matthew Thiessen and the Earthquakes. I was already familiar with Matt’s work as the lead singer, guitarist, pianist, and principal songwriter for the Christian rock band Relient K, and was excited to check out his new solo project.

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The band just released their debut album, Wind Up Bird, a few weeks ago, a glorious blend of simple folk and americana that touches the soul. The set up was a simple one with Matt stage left at his microphone, acoustic guitar in hand and trumpet player Robert Gay beside him.

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Thiessen is a true singer/songwriter and his rich vocals resonated across the venue with ease. Matt quickly established a genuine rapport with the audience as he introduced the songs with stories, weaving tales of inspiration from a Haruki Murakami book and explaining how a song about a race car bed morphed into the tune “Oedipus”.

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Throughout the night, Matt was accompanied by the talented Robert Gay. His muted trumpet was a beautiful contrast as he manipulated its sounds to suit each song. It was a thoroughly enjoyable performance and a great way to get things started. Be sure to check out this new project when you have the chance.

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After the requisite intermission, the stage was dimly illuminated to reveal Adam’s set up. There were two tiers of keyboards positioned sideways accompanied by a variety of percussion instruments including a tambourine. Facing the front of the stage was an electronic drum pad, a xylophone, and a small drum kit with another drum kit ensconced in the corner at  the rear of the stage. There was flowers everywhere, trailing up the keyboards, winding around the numerous microphone stands, and surrounding the drum kit. Add in the fog and scent of incense and it was a majestic, surreal setting. The fans up front began to chant “Adam! Adam!” and “We love you Adam!” Young would soon oblige as he made his appearance, guitar in hand.

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What followed was a flurry of excitement on stage and across the venue. Adam was literally a one man band for the first few songs, running from instrument to instrument. One minute he was jamming on a guitar and the next he was behind the keyboards before jetting off for some time behind the drum kit. It was amazing and impressive and the fans reveled in delight at his skill and proficiency on so many different instruments.

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 As I was busy trying to document all this activity, time flew by and in the blink of an eye my allotted time in the photo pit was over. I made my way to the rear of the venue to watch the rest of the show as Young brought out two other members of his touring band to join him on stage.

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The energy in the venue was palpable as emotions ran high among the crowd, some laughing and dancing with others quietly sobbing. Adam sounded amazing and his voice helped spread the wave of emotion across the audience, reaching new levels of highs and lows. The set was heavy with songs from Owl City’s latest release Cinematic and the theme of the night wove around it. Interludes of spoken clips from movies were interspersed between songs and the screen at the rear of the stage became a night sky full of stars. At times, the lights were synchronized to the notes of the xylophone as Young declared “Life is a movie,” further cementing his Cinematic theme.

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Of course, Young also played some of Owl City’s biggest hits with a poignant audience sing along for the multi-platinum single “Fireflies” as he asked the crowd to light up the Underground with their cell phones, making for a spectacular experience. Adam didn’t spend too much time talking, instead he allowed  the music be his voice. He did take a brief moment to introduce his touring band members and to share a few stories explaining how a hammock can change your life before launching into “Madeline Island”. Other highlights of the concert included an extraordinary cover of Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and the appropriate encore of “All My Friends” to cap off a magical night.

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It’s not too late to check out Owl City this fall, but you better hurry as tickets for the Cinematic Tour are quickly selling out across the country.

See full gallery of the night!

Owl City Setlist The Underground, Charlotte, NC, USA 2018, Cinematic

Catch this tour:

Wed. September 26, 2018 7:30pm

The Plaza Live

Orlando FL , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Fri. September 28, 2018 8:00pm

House of Blues Dallas

Dallas TX , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Sat. September 29, 2018 8:00pm

House of Blues Houston

Houston TX , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Mon. October 1, 2018 8:00pm

Crescent Ballroom

Phoenix AZ , United States

Sold Out

with: Matthew Thiessen The Earthquakes

Tue. October 2, 2018 7:00pm

House Of Blues

Anaheim CA , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Wed. October 3, 2018 7:00pm

The Regency Ballroom

San Francisco CA , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Fri. October 5, 2018 7:00pm

Hawthorne Theatre

Portland OR , United States

Sold Out

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Sat. October 6, 2018 7:00pm

Neptune Theatre

Seattle WA , United States

Sold Out

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Mon. October 8, 2018 7:00pm

The Egyptian Theatre

Boise ID , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Tue. October 9, 2018 7:00pm

The Complex

Salt Lake City UT , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Wed. October 10, 2018 7:00pm

Bluebird Theater

Denver CO , United States

Sold Out

with: Matthew Thiessen The Earthquakes

Fri. October 12, 2018 8:00pm

First Avenue

Minneapolis MN , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Sat. October 13, 2018 8:00pm

House of Blues Chicago

Chicago IL , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Sun. October 14, 2018 7:00pm

Newport Music Hall

Columbus OH , United States

Tickets

with: Matthew Thiessen and The Earthquakes

Wed. November 7, 2018 7:00pm

Ex Theater

Tokyo , Japan

Tickets

Thu. November 8, 2018 7:00pm

Bottom Line

Nagoya-shi , Japan

Tickets

Fri. November 9, 2018 7:00pm

BIGCAT

Higashi-osaka , Japan

Tickets

Sun. November 11, 2018 7:00pm

Blue Square IMarket Hall

Yongsangu , South Korea

 

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