I went to a rock concert Friday night. A friend and I took our daughters to see Owl City. Owl City is actually Adam Young, a young man from Owatonna, Minnesota, who started recording electronic music in his parents' basement because he couldn't sleep. His personal story is interesting. He began uploading music onto his MySpace account, developed a huge following, began selling songs on iTunes, and was eventually discovered and signed to a recording contract. He does not bill himself as a Christian artist but he does not downplay his Christianity and it comes through naturally in his music and on his blog. The song "Galaxies" on his most recent CD All Things Bright and Beautiful was inspired by the Challenger space shuttle disaster and contains these lyrics:
Dear God, I was terribly lost
When the galaxies crossed
And the sun went dark.
Dear God, You're the only North Star
I would follow this far.
Keep your eye on my only hope,
Lest I blink and be swept off the narrow road,
Hercules, you've got nothing to say to me,
'Cause you're not the blinding light that I need.
For He is the saving grace of the galaxies.
(Galaxies, galaxies, galaxies, galaxies)
He is the saving grace of the galaxies.
In the concert this song was preceded by a recording of President Ronald Reagan's televised remarks to the nation after the disaster. I doubt I will ever attend another rock concert where that occurs.
My daughter has been an Owl City/Adam Young fan for some time now. I have only listened to a few of his songs. But I am impressed by her taste and discrimination in music. The poetry is compelling and the music fresh and enjoyable. Although the recorded music is computer-based, the live shows are not: the live band included piano, keyboard, drums, guitar, cello and violin. My friend remarked that the music is the type that that makes you feel good--light and uplifting, not dark and depressing. And I was terribly impressed by this concert. The venue was a smaller one--the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago (here's some fun history)--and the ticket price was incredibly reasonable: $28 for general admission, standing room only (there was some second level balcony seating for special guests and, I assume, those who could pay higher prices, but most of us either stood or sat on the floor). Owl City is quite a phenomenon but is not yet commanding huge venues and astronomical ticket prices. At the concert Adam repeatedly--repeatedly--told the audience how much he appreciated their support. It seemed sincere. I think he really is amazed and appreciative at what he has wrought. There was nothing objectionable in the entire show--no dirty jokes, no foul language, nothing. The affection between singer and audience was obvious. The concertgoers were well-behaved and there was no smoking of any kind (thanks in part to the tight security at the Aragon). The predominant age group was high school/college, but there were some oldsters like us there as well as some families with young children. And, although some might disagree, the volume was not painfully loud. (I have suffered through painfully loud, and this was not it.)
Here's the song that propelled Owl City to platinum status:
And here's a picture of my daughter and her friend listening to "Fireflies" at the concert.