OwlCityOwl City, the enigmatic pop/dance/electronica sensation, hits the stage in LA and it's all captured on this concert DVD - get your stuffed owls, popcorn, and Joel Osteen books together and have a good time...

Live From Los Angeles
Artist: Owl City
English, 5.1 Dolby Digital / Dolby Digital Stereo / DTS Digital Surround
16 : 9 Screen Format
Eagle Vision
110 minutes approx.

Nature sounds, twinkling lights, and a stage set with leaves and the general ambiance of a forest: an ironic dichotomy then, that Owl City is a musical project born of technology – a one man (and his computer) band that fleshes out live shows with a pair of live string players among the drums, guitars, and what seems like an almost one-to-one ratio of keyboards.

Minnesota native Adam Young is the driving creative force behind Owl City (don't try to make sense out of the name), and he's certainly the center-point of the stage performance captured on this concert video. The self-described 'shy' 25 year old certainly is warmly embraced by the enthusiastic (and very young) crowd at Club Nokia, the LA stop on Owl City's All Things Bright and Beautiful World Tour.

Bright. Beautiful. Owls... okay, I think we're starting to see a pattern here. This is not Metallica or Marilyn Manson - probably closer to a pop / dance / electronica hybrid of Mr. Rodgers and Joel Osteen. Adam Young (think of the significance of his first and last names, William Campbell fans) loves you. He loves the stars, the caterpillars, the trees – oh, all kinds of things. Evidently, he's not too crazy about the realities of this world (and who can blame him, I suppose), even though the very first song on the DVD is "The Real World."

None of what preceded is to demean Young or his performance on Live From Los Angeles. Even though much of his material is wide-eyed, optimistic, semi-spacy and post-hippie escapist fare, it is catchy and well performed by the band, if you don't mind the abundance of electronics and sampling. Young has a likeable quality about him and offers an alternative to the negative and self-absorbed world-views of so many acts that are currently in the spotlight these days – and after the travesty perpetrated by Nikki Minoj on The Grammys, I'm fine with that.

The sound on the DVD is very good – definitely worth putting through your sound system – and the image quality is fine. The concert is well-shot with every angle covered. The 22 songs are augmented by an interview / profile of Young that fleshes out his background and how Owl City came to be.

Certainly, if pop/dance/electronica is your thing, this is a fine concert DVD. If you're a person who's looking for something more organic and less programmed, then maybe not – at one point Young actually is joined by what looks like a holographic projection of a 'guest' rapper, hovering on a flat panel slightly smaller than life-size but seeming to interact with Young.

Owl City, as a performing unit, shows us Adam Young, the multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. His success is hard to argue with and his potential for some real musical exploration is hinted at in several moments, but this document of Owl City Live is probably best for those already convinced. Certainly, they were the ones that made up the audience here, and they were having a great time getting away from The Real World for a while.


Bert Saraco