There are a lot of positive things I could say about the bubblegum pop feelings I get when I listen to Owl City’s album Ocean Eyes, but no amount of over the counter guilty pleasure could ever numb the pain I experienced seeing Adam Young in concert.
The Disney Special started with a dark stage that was slowly illuminated with blue hues by the over the top lighting rig – to the tune of falling rain. As the rain and lights crescendoed in concert, bodies began appearing on stage. Young and company signaled the show had really started with three of them banging drums rhythmically as the violinist, cellist and piano player gazed out over the audience. All things considered, it seemed like it was shaping up to be a fantastic show. And then Young opened his mouth…
Take Tom DeLonge’s nasally, slightly emo vocal profile and deliver it with Jimmy Urine’s (frontman for Mindless Self Indulgence) vocal chords, but run it through these filters first: industrial strength grinder, nails on a chalkboard, alarm clock and whiny baby. Once all that’s finally finished, turn it up to volume level 14 and ruin everyone’s night. He’s got a full complement of talented string performers and percussionists, but their melodic, soothing noises are completely bastardized by the crimes against music produced by Young’s vocal chords.
Either Young is auto-tuned from migraine inducing to bearable before his voice gets printed on the albums, or the engineer for this show should be taken out back and shot. Since Kearney’s performance sounded all but perfect, I’m leaning towards the former. You know the facial expression that a guy makes when someone forcefully reinserts the family jewels into his body cavity? That was the look on every face in the train of people leaving the venue after twenty minutes. I’m not going to go so far as to say that I wish I was born deaf, but I really wish I had a butter knife I could use to puncture my own ear drums.