The Owl City “Cinematics” Tour recently rolled through Philadelphia and I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to finally see an artist I’ve been a long-time fan of. From start to finish the show provided a warm, beautiful environment that had me raving about it to anyone who would listen afterwards.
Opening the show was Matthew Thiessen & the Earthquakes. Many are familiar with Matthew Thiessen from his days in the band Relient K, however, this project shows a much softer side of the musician. With just his acoustic guitar and Robert Gay accompanying with harmonies and trumpet, Thiessen creates a much softer sound than the rock style of Relient K. Together, him and Gay worked very well; their voices meshed together perfectly and the muted trumpet added a very nice touch to the minimal instrumentals. The performance was inviting as Thiessen gave the audience some little anecdotes about certain songs. One in particular that really stood out to me was for the song “Oedipus”, which he explained as having started a joke but grew into an actual track. The song was about wanting a racecar bed, but being an adult. He also played a new song “Neighbor”, which was not featured on their last release.
After Matthew Thiessen & the Earthquakes, Owl City took the stage. The beginning of the show provided the audience with a reminder of how impressive of a musician Adam Young is. Young walked out to a very large instrumental setup beautifully decorated in flowers. He went on to create loops over himself as he started performing solo. Soon after, Cody Johnson (guitar) and Goose (drums) came out to join in. I believe this show was best viewed from a distance and really fit the entire idea of being “cinematic”. Taking in the whole picture was a must and an incredible experience, which can be best described as “other worldly” or “celestial”. Young’s lights were absolutely gorgeous; featuring what appeared to be a starlit backdrop using many small lights, as well as some larger bar lights. The crowd could be seen bopping along to tracks such as “Cinematic” and “Cave In”. Owl City performed hits such as “The Real World”, “Fiji Water”, and of course, “Fireflies”. Audience members “lit up the world” with their phone flashlights for the entirety of the performance of “Fireflies”. At one point, Young also covered “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” which had everyone serenading each other. At the end of the show after a very loud encore chant, Owl City took the stage once more with Matthew Thiessen joining in for “All My Friends”. Seeing Owl City live was certainly an entire experience that you need to immerse yourself in, and one I highly recommend. If you see this tour headed your way, make sure to grab a ticket and go because you won’t want to miss it.
Nicole DiBenedetto is a photographer based out of New Jersey. She likes making new friends and meeting new people so catch her out in the pit and say hi!