Owl City – Brighton, Komedia

By paul

Support: Lights
Komedia, Brighton Wednesday 17th February 2010

The average PT reader may be asking a rather obvious question: WHY are Punktastic covering an Owl City gig? Is it because we?re jumping on the bandwagon of an artist that?s shot to fame so quickly the venues on his tour are shockingly undersized? Is it because collectively we?ve got a huge crush on his support act? Or is it because beneath it all we?re just real suckers for a melody? Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

However, before we get to Adam Young and his harem of accompanying musicians, there?s the small matter of a wee girl from Toronto called Lights. For those unfamiliar, she writes pop songs drenched in keyboards and airy-fairy sound blips, topped with a sprinkling of cute lyrics and more than a pinch of charisma. On record, it?s arguably uninspiring stuff, but she completely comes alive when you stick her in front of a crowd. Clearly a born performer, both her ability to work a crowd and her staggering vocal abilities in the likes of ?Ice? and ?Saviour? are proof that when you scratch Lights? surface, there?s a hell of a lot more in her than her tiny frame might suggest.

With the crowd firmly warmed up and teenage hormones displacing most of the oxygen in the room, Owl City hit the stage to an almighty roar. Coming out of nowhere to claim the Number 1 singles spot in most developed countries, tonight is a test of how deserving this man is of such success and acclaim. Now here?s the disappointing bit for most of you ? he is very, very good. Whether the man ends up a one-hit wonder (give it a few months and we?ll surely find out) or not ? he has the showmanship and the talent to stun. Through the Komedia?s notoriously sketchy PA, ?The Bird And The Worm? and ?Dental Care? positively boom, while his supporting cast (pleasingly composed primarily of gorgeous women) ensure that every electronic fill and lick is defined. It?s always hard to pull off this sort of thing live, but here it feels like these songs were always intended to be played by a full band. With a show like this, Hell, I think we could even get away with calling him a rock star.

Andy R