Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Excellent performance, good production... with a few caveats.
on September 18, 2012
If you like Owl City's recorded material, then you should enjoy this DVD. The songs, while mostly faithful to the album versions, do include some very creative intros/outros/transitions and instrumental sections that definitely put the "rock" into Owl City, as well as showcase the stellar musicianship of the whole band (not just Adam Young).
I went to one of the other shows on this tour ("All Things Bright and Beautiful"), and this DVD is an accurate representation of the great show that I saw, i.e. it's not a carefully-spliced-and-edited DVD of best-takes from multiple shows. That tour (and this DVD) should erase any concerns people have about Owl City being a "studio band."
The performance is spectacular, no doubt. But as a musician and a sound geek, I have some issues with the production...
Mix: Some parts of the mix are missing. You'll always hear Adam, the guitars, main drum kit, loops, synth strings -- but you won't always the REAL strings (violin, cello), backup singers, and sometimes the second drum kit (where they tear it up on a couple of songs!). I heard all of these elements during the concert I was at, so I know they were mic-ed! So either those tracks didn't get recorded, or they weren't mixed high enough to hear on the DVD. This is a shame, because the band sounded even fuller in person than what the audio on the DVD implies.
Auto-tune: Despite a heavy-handed use of digital pitch correction on his albums, Adam Young actually has an excellent live singing voice, which I appreciated from 15 feet away. UNFORTUNATELY, they've taken that lovely live voice and auto-tuned in post-production, so you'll never hear it on this DVD! His voice sounds dead-center "corrected" throughout the performance, just as it does on his albums -- perfectly familiar to album listeners, but unfortunate for those who remember (or want to hear) what his voice sound likes without the auto-tune.
Guitars: To the reviewer who mentioned that "The distorted guitars seem too perfect, too close miced and intimate." Notice the lack of guitar amps/cabinets on stage. They use digital amp modeling; probably with the processors rack-mounted offstage, plugged directly into the soundboard. This technology has really come a long way [search 'POD HD Pro' or 'Fractal Axe-Fx'], but yes, they still don't sound EXACTLY like a real guitar amp + mic.