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Owl City - Live from Los Angeles [DVD] Album Cover

Owl City - Live from Los Angeles [DVD]

Reviewed by
8.5
Owl City - Live from Los Angeles [DVD]
Record Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Release Date: February 7, 2012
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Owl City mastermind Adam Young is a self-proclaimed introvert, but you would never know it by watching the band's live show. The shy 20-something has been thrust in the spotlight after a meteoric rise to fame, but he has adapted well. Center stage, Young commands audiences as they sing along to his brand of catchy, electronic-based pop music. The spectacle can be witnessed on Owl City's new DVD, Live from Los Angeles, which captures the July 21, 2011 stop of the All Things Bright and Beautiful Tour at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA.

One may be skeptical as to how the Owl City sound, created predominately on a computer, works for a live show, but the transition is smooth. Not content with merely pressing play on a laptop, a full band is employed to bring the music to life. Young plays guitar and piano occasionally, but most instruments are handled by his trusty band, which consists of Daniel Jorgensen, Breanne Duren, Laura Musten, Hannah Schroeder and Casey Brown. Between the five of them, they recreate all of the Owl City instrumentals, from drums, guitar and bass to cello, violin and the ever-present synth and keys.

The 21-song sets begins with "The Real World" and continues strong for more than an hour and a half. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the song selection comes from All Things Bright and Beautiful, of which the tour was in support, with the band's breakout album, Ocean Eyes, in a close second. Older fans will be delighted to find that the setlist includes a track each from his first full-length, Maybe I'm Dreaming ("I'll Meet You There"), and his debut EP, Of June ("Swimming In Miami"), as well as a song from his side project, Port Blue ("Setting Sail"). Interestingly, he also throws in a few b-sides/bonus tracks.

While most of Owl City's music is carefree and whimsical, a highlight of the set is the sobering rendition of "Lonely Lullaby." Clearly a personal track, it is simply Young and a piano as he sings his heart out for an former love by the name of Ann Maria. On the other end of the spectrum, there is a fun performance of "Alligator Sky" that incorporates a futuristic hologram of Shawn Chrystopher for the rapped verses.

Surprisingly, Owl City's biggest hit, "Fireflies," is not the closer; instead it's played about an hour into the show. The song is beefed up with a new intro to rock the live audiences, and Young allows the giddy crowd to sing the chorus. The set instead concludes with "If My Heart Was a House," a curious choice considering it was only released as a bonus track on the re-issue of Ocean Eyes. Regardless, the fans don't seem to mind.

Owl City shamelessly uses auto-tune on albums, but the live show proves that Young doesn't need it in order to hit notes. He does, however, have a separate microphone rigged with effects to better emulate the records. In fact, the audio is top notch all around. Granted, none of the music is complicated, but the production is remarkably good. (No word on whether or not there were any post-production fixes, but it almost sounds too good to be true.) The concert is also well-shot from numerous camera angles. The lighting provides great ambiance, from warm oranges and reds to deep blues and purples accenting the music.

There is a 15-minute featurette, which includes a brief montage of behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with Young. The interview discusses the history of the band, from its name to touring and more, as well as a few questions from fans. Additional backstage footage and more in-depth questions would have been nice, at least there's something to supplement the concert.

The Live from Los Angeles DVD (which is also available on Blu-ray) is a must for any fan of Owl City, whether you've never had the opportunity to catch the band live before or if you've seen them and want to relive the experience. It's a great way to tide listeners over until the release of the new album later this year. The DVD may not gain the band any new followers, but even non-fans will likely be impressed by the performance.

8.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 32
06:03 AM on 02/09/12
#2
So-Crates
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solid review, its a shame though that the Wave Race 64 cover is no longer in his sets!
06:28 AM on 02/09/12
#3
Alex DiVincenzo
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solid review, its a shame though that the Wave Race 64 cover is no longer in his sets!
Wow, I had no idea this existed. I just YouTubed it - awesome. Wave Race was the first game I had for N64.
06:52 AM on 02/09/12
#4
Acad08
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Absolutely can't wait for this. I was able to catch the tour last fall in OKC and it was incredible!
07:01 AM on 02/09/12
#5
ChaseTx
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So you know, this is how the rating appears under the reviews tab:
Probably due to the N/A in Vocals, Musicianship, & Lyrics? Shouldn't those be applicable fields for this DVD anyway?
07:12 AM on 02/09/12
#6
Alex DiVincenzo
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So you know, this is how the rating appears under the reviews tab:

Probably due to the N/A in Vocals, Musicianship, & Lyrics? Shouldn't those be applicable fields for this DVD anyway?
Yeah, it's a glitch in the averaging with the N/A ratings. I don't usually fill those fields out for DVDs - but I suppose since I now go with an overall rating it won't matter any way.
07:22 AM on 02/09/12
#7
mrnubnub
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I've seen Owl City live, it's a fantastic fucking show. I want to say it was the best show I've ever been to but it's so radically different from a pop punk, punk, or hardcore show that I can't really compare

And their live performance is extremely tight. The live band is mind blowing, hearing the songs with string and piano and guitar when they've been recorded strictly with synths is awesome and makes the live show a really different experience than just listening to the record.
08:45 AM on 02/09/12
#8
all time (joe)
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the one thing i had a problem with was the generic camera shooting, which is ironic that you said it was great. It was almost too smooth. I like sweeping crane shots, video filters, frame rate speed effects, etc. which were absent in this concert DVD. I think they could have played with the quirky electronics and mimic that with video. Either way, i'm a huge fan of Owl City so it's great to finally have a DVD in my collection
08:51 AM on 02/09/12
#9
CoheedForever
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Will probably check this out. Good review.
09:20 AM on 02/09/12
MyFriendsOver
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Came in here to give a Wave Race 64 shout out! haha
09:24 AM on 02/09/12
Alex DiVincenzo
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the one thing i had a problem with was the generic camera shooting, which is ironic that you said it was great. It was almost too smooth. I like sweeping crane shots, video filters, frame rate speed effects, etc. which were absent in this concert DVD. I think they could have played with the quirky electronics and mimic that with video. Either way, i'm a huge fan of Owl City so it's great to finally have a DVD in my collection
I suppose it comes down to preference. I like the smoothness of it. I'd rather it be more like a crowd POV without any added effects, since the lighting did enough to set the mood. Crane shots are cool, but I don't know about in a venue like this. I did like that there weren't a ton of crowd shots like some DVDs have - it was just enough to see the audience every once in a while.
09:49 AM on 02/09/12
CPF--FBR
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So people on this site actually like Owl City now?

I'm not trying to be a dick, I'm just really confused. I thought everyone and their mother hated this guy.
10:02 AM on 02/09/12
Spencer Control
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His albums are overproduced, but he can play it well live, so props.
12:42 PM on 02/09/12
justbradley
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I absolutely love Owl City, so if I get the chance, I might check this out.
01:17 PM on 02/09/12
Penguin
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I've always wanted to see him live. It sucks that the one time I could (with Lights and Deas Vail), my friends bailed last-minute. This looks really awesome, though!

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