Waxing nostalgic about Chicago with his song of the same name, Kearney really knows how to fire up an audience of soccer moms in attendance to chaperone their offspring who somehow talked them into seeing Owl City. Determined to make the best of the situation, Kearney put on one of the most honest, down-to-earth performances that I’ve seen in quite some time. On some level, the high school dance crowd was a little disconcerting (who sits down on the floor at a concert?), but Kearney’s devoted fans quickly made up for whatever they lacked in age with sheer excitement.
Kearney was quick to reciprocate the love by taking turns at the ivory – while still brandishing his acoustic axe with skill. Adeptly coaxing perfect chords from his stringed weapon of choice would have been enough, but Kearney goes the extra mile by splicing in his own blend of gut-wrenchingly beautiful vocals as a delivery method for his touching lyrics. He’s got one of those slightly raspy voices with just enough gravel to cement a panty dropping tune when mixed with his high pitched, lilting melodies.
Even though there’s a formula for making any male singer/songwriter performance successful (it goes something like this: Bounce. Clap. Stomp. Ahhhhhhh.), knowing the secret recipe doesn’t mean it’s easy to duplicate the success of the original. Leave that to professionals like Kearney.