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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Last Night: Owl City, Lights at the Fillmore

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 7:51 AM

Owl City, performing at a show in New York last year (we'd have a more recent shot, but the Fillmore, ahem, "lost" our photo pass) - KEVIN
  • Kevin
  • Owl City, performing at a show in New York last year (we'd have a more recent shot, but the Fillmore, ahem, "lost" our photo pass)

Owl City, Lights
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
The Fillmore

Better than: Obviously not The Postal Service, but most other shows geared toward the Radio Disney set.

It's safe to say that while a sizeable chunk of the pop-loving public loves Owl City--the band's latest album, Ocean Eyes, just went platinum--pretty much everyone else loathes them. Or to be more precise, they either love or loathe him, since the whole operation is directed by Adam Young, a young Christian man from Owatonna, a tiny town in southern Minnesota.

The reason for the anger is pretty simple: Owl City sounds a lot like The Postal Service, all the way down to Young delivering certain lines exactly the way Ben Gibbard did on Give Up. (And Young definitely didn't endear himself to anyone when he started off saying that he'd never heard The Postal Service, a statement that was later retracted.) 

Sure, Owl City is a cheesier version of what Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello crafted through the mail, but the main problem that the critics seem to have with Young mimicking The Postal Service is that it's just too soon. It's anyone's guess if there will ever be a follow-up to Give Up, but for Postal Service fans the dream is still alive, in which case this electro-pop cow is still pretty sacred.

But here's the thing: If you were 9 years old when Give Up came out, you probably weren't hip to Sub Pop's release schedule in 2003, and there's a good chance that you don't give a shit that "Fireflies" sounds like it was made by a band that your older brother used to listen to incessantly. 

Tuesday's sold-out show at The Fillmore--the second of such nights--was packed with those non-shit-giving kids, the sort that like to scream at concerts the way that your mom did for The Beatles. And while there was a surprising number of 20-somethings in the throng, the audience seemed to get younger the closer you looked, including the fans being chased around by a nervous dad with a flashlight.

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Marc Hawthorne


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