A Nearly Sold Out First Avenue Celebrates Nostalgia With Owl City


I never try to force my friends to go to concerts with me. I have some friends that will go to any show I tell them to go to and others that only go to the shows that I have no interest in. Regardless, I always invite them along and, with a schedule like mine, sometimes that concert is the only chance for me to catch up with friends. With one of my best friend’s birthday being on Saturday and my day being taken up by Zombie Pub Crawl, I knew that Friday night would be my only chance to celebrate with her so after a boring day at work and a couple of errands to make it all happen, I found myself at my apartment with a drink in my hand, smile on my face, and pizza in the oven surrounded with two of my besties. I could already tell it would be an amazing night and being able to see Owl City was going to be so much more than just the icing on the cake.

After our usual one too many drinks at home, the three of us piled into a Lyft and made our way downtown to First Avenue. Now, having done this show thing for so long, I tend to pride myself on my timing. I know that, at First Avenue, music typically starts an hour after the door time. I also know that they tweet out set times to confirm that in the afternoon. It was confirmed. Doors at 7, show at 8 for Friday night’s nearly sold out Owl City show. That being said, I was a bit shocked when we unloaded from the Lyft to find a line stretching down the block at around 7:50. Clearly doors were opened late and things had been pushed back so, naturally, we went to the bar nextdoor to wait it out. We watched as the line kept growing and different excited faces lined the windows of The Depot. We slammed our drinks and jumped into the slowly dissipating line and got inside First Avenue.

There was nothing happening on stage so I figured they had just pushed the show back an entire hour but, unfortunately, we were wrong. After asking the security guard sitting near the green room, we were informed that we had completely missed the opening act. Even though the doors were opened up late, the show still went on with only a fifteen minute delay. I felt terrible. We were actually quite excited to see Matthew Thiessen & The Earthquakes perform. The singer of Relient K, Matthew has one of those voices that I knew would take me back to a much simpler time and I had been excited to experience that but apparently it just wasn’t in the cards for me last night. My apologies to Matthew and his band. I really thought we were going to make it on time but it just didn’t happen. I’ll just have to catch you guys next time which means you’ll have to come back sooner rather than later.

The only other performer on Friday night’s bill was the one and only Owl City. Although I obsessed over his 2009 release “Ocean Eyes”, I never wanted to admit it. There was no denying that Adam Young (the brains behind this technically one many band that then tours with other musicians tricking people into thinking Owl City is a band) is a talented young man with an ear for strings of notes that will get stuck in your head and lines of lyrics that will make you feel something. That being said, it was a bit too soft for me at the time and I would honestly only listen to it when at home alone and on a CD so nobody could track the fact that I listened to the album at least ten times in a row on the weekend. I was at an age when I felt like I would get judged but now that worry has been thrown to the wind and I couldn’t help but feel overly excited as Adam took the stage and jumped into his set.

Full disclosure, I fell off the Owl City wagon awhile ago. As much as I loved “Ocean Eyes” and still go back to it every once in awhile, I really haven’t listened to anything since. I knew I wasn’t going to know every single song Adam was going to perform but I figured I would know a couple– oh how wrong I was. When it was said and done, I think I only knew two songs that he performed but there was something so soothing and comforting about his voice and style that, even though I had never heard majority of the songs before, I felt like I still knew him. Sure, you could say all of the songs sounded the same but I’d rather call it what it actually is– Owl City’s sound. It’s distinct with heavy emphasis on the synth, bells, and auto-tuned vocals. Does that sound great? Absolutely not but it’s what made Owl City Owl City and is the reason why an entire generation looked up to Adam and his music. 

Everything about last night was perfect. The sound was dead on both musically and vocally. The smile on my friends’ faces as the three of us stood in a circle singing along to Owl City’s hit song “Fireflies” is an image that will not soon leave my mind. The vibe in First Avenue was perfect as hundreds of people sang along to the music of their childhoods was beyond amazing.

Last night was one of those absolutely perfect nights.