The Boston House of Blues was packed with a sold out crowd on Friday night. It was a mixed crowd of late twenty somethings to early tweens with their parents — a surprising gap in demographic for an Owl City show. Nonetheless the floor in front of the stage was packed with bodies and onlookers peered over the side railings of the second and third floors.
The night kicked off promptly at 6:55 with Paper Route. The quintet from Nashville had an As Tall As Lions and just slightly peppier Death Cab For Cutie sound that made them a bit of a surprising opener for the ultimate of peppy headliner. From a distance, the lead singer had a striking resemblance to Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, which was only encouraged by his intense mope-stare to the crowd. Their synthesized groove sound was just the ticket to get the crowd going — at one point they had three drummers on stage for an incredible build up. I’m not entirely sure Owl City was the best fit for them but they were extremely impressive and hey, being first up on a sold out tour can’t hurt, right? Definitely keep your eyes, and ears, out for them soon.
Next in the lineup came Toronto’s newest shining star — Lights. When Blast last talked to her, Lights was fresh in the rush of releasing her second album "The Listening". Now she’s making a crowd pleaser out of songs like "Lions!" and wooing the audience with soft ballads like "Pretend." Though her set is decorated with two synthesized pianos and keytar, Lights’s voice is really the showstopper. When she steps on stage she looks pint sized in jeans, white tank top and leather jacket, but she opens her mouth and that out of this world soprano range really elevates the set. It’s adorable to see her bouncing around the stage, getting the entire crowd to fist pump with her, but I think a phenomenal show is in the works when Lights gets to officially call the shots.
At nine o’clock the main event began. It started with the lights, three "waves" lit up with blues and greens to resemble the ocean. The drums next, then a mini orchestra — two violins and a cello — then glockenspiel and finally Adam Young, Owl City himself, as the crowd erupts. It was the same visceral reaction to every song, which made it strange to think that Owl City was a relatively unknown until last summer when "Fireflies" became so massive, even Nick Jonas covered it. "Fireflies" came in the middle of the set though, to obviously the most applause. When the band departed the stage for their encore, I wondered if they’d come back and just do the song again, you always end with your biggest hit right? It was an excellent surprise to hear the first digital beats of "Hello, Seattle," — his biggest pre-"Fireflies" song. The crowd didn’t disappoint either, showing they knew every word to his songs even before "Ocean Eyes" came out last July.