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Student Review: Owl City

Owl City came to The Signal on April 2nd of this year and his energy was immediately infectious. He started by sprinting around the stage, playing every instrument up there in time with the instrumental backing track. This was something of a shock after Augustana’s slow and emotional opening set, but a welcome one to be sure. Owl City produces most of his music himself and this carries through to his live performances – he continued playing nearly every instrument throughout the show as needed, including at least two different keyboards, an electric guitar, a bass guitar, a keytar, and the drums. The only two instruments he didn’t play were the electric cello and a different set of drums (there were two on stage at all times). He’s clearly talented, but not cocky, as he made sure to tell us how thankful he was to be up there on stage between nearly every song. Like I said, the energy was infectious and the positivity was abundant – certainly important for the wide range of ages of the attendees. There were literal babies watching the show from their parents’ arms!

Owl City started playing the now-classic “Fireflies” at the halfway mark of his set. The introductory synth plucks were the only fanfare needed – everyone knew immediately what was up. The crowd knew the song so well that there was probably no need for a backing track or even Owl City’s vocals. In fact, they cut them both and the audience carried it on without a hitch. The second half of the set was more of the same upbeat songs and stage presence. And, of course, there was an encore, which was somehow even more energetic than the rest of the show. The lights went crazy for the extra song – flashing rainbow bars behind the performers and the biggest instrumental of the night made it feel like a true finale.

Overall, I would recommend an Owl City concert to anyone who ever thought “Fireflies” was a pretty cool song. Coco Moon Deluxe was released on March 22nd, 2024 and Owl City is on tour until April 14th.

Note: The Daddy’s Dogs hotdogs at The Signal were pretty good. Definitely give them a shot if you’re hungry at your next show.