I beamed in front of the poster, which had Blue October’s name on it. I was finally going to see the band I loved so much play in the flesh. Visiting with fans of Blue October only made me more excited to see them. “You’ll cry,” one girl told me. “He’s amazing,” she added, talking about the charismatic lead singer, Justin Furstenfeld.
She was right: Seeing my favorite band play in the flesh was amazing. The foggy set before Blue October took the stage is one of my favorites. The song “To Be,” played–an instrumental piece–as fog gently filled the stage. Lights gently blinked on and off to give off a peaceful atmosphere. I was very excited, it felt unreal. The crowd around my sister, Mom, and I were cheering as Blue October took the stage, with the blinking lights turning a beautiful dark blue. I knew that this was going to be a truly incredible night.
From the opening song “Coal Makes Diamonds” to the encore, I had a blast. I sang along. I knew every song that was being played. I was enrapt as Justin sang, danced around the stage, and told stories to the audience. His hand motions captured his image as a performer, someone who is unafraid to let his very real emotions be carried in his body language and lyrics.
While Justin Furstenfeld is the forefront of the band, his band mates are all extremely talented musicians. Ryan Delahoussaye is a great violin player. He also plays several other instruments. Jeremy Furstenfeld (Justin’s brother) plays the drums, and does percussion for the band. Matt Noveskey is the bass player. Will Knaak, the newest member in the group, is the lead guitarist.
Blue October is known for their moodier songs, but lately their music as turned around into a joyful, peaceful meditation on love and family life. There’s still great songs to rock out to in the car, though.
The concert was something I will forever remember. I still watch the videos I took that night from time to time, to remind myself how wonderful it was to see them in the flesh. After the concert, which could have gone on another two hours–I wouldn’t have minded–I got to have Justin and Ryan sign the book I bought. Justin was nice enough to give me a hug, which blew me away. It made me realize how much these guys care about their fans, that they see them as more than just people in a room. I told Justin that I love the band’s music. “Well,” he said, “I love you.” That simple message means a lot to me, to know that a complete stranger that I’ve admired for years really cares. He got my meaning, which was very cool.
I’m passionate about Blue October because they lift me up. They are a band that you don’t really see very much anymore, with thoughtful lyrics and an honesty that I appreciate. You can hear the emotional connection to the words that Justin is singing; he really means all the words he’s saying. Sometimes, I find artists who have good lyrics, but they seem to only pretend to be invested in what they’re saying. Not Blue October. They take pride in the sound they make as well as their lyrics. They are humble guys, men who just want to rock out and make a difference through their music. They bring happiness and joy with them when they play–they look like they are having so much fun up on whatever stage they happen to be on.
Thank you Justin, Jeremy, Ryan, Matt N. and Matt O. for a wonderful evening. It was a magical and surreal experience watching you guys play in front of me. Thank you for your all your hard work, your dedication, your meaningful lyrics, and your comforting sound. You are all awesome! I cannot wait to see you guys play again.