#tbt: my first Blue show

Three years ago, I got to see my favorite band play live.

Smoke covered the stage. Yellow lights blinked on and off slowly to “To Be,” an instrumental piece that is calm and moving.

I was very excited. This was my third live show in my life. (I’d seen Metallica and Ed Sheeran play, and neither disappointed me.) But this was like bucket-level type stuff, to see my favorite band play.

When Justin, Matt O. (the current lead guitarist at the time), Ryan, Jeremy, and Matt N. took the stage, the place went wild. It was amazing: I was seeing them in person. Blue October was playing right in front of me. It felt surreal, after waiting to see them live for so many years.

I still have the videos and pictures I took during that show on First Ave, including the little anecdote that Justin shared about wanting to live a better life. He’s one of my heroes, a guy who I admire and look up to in my life.

Throughout the show, I periodically felt myself choking up and crying. A couple of the songs hit home for me, including the annecodtal about wanting to live a better life. I have depression and anxiety, so I know what it’s like to feel crummy and nervous about living life from time to time. Justin’s words about wanting a better, happier life is something that I think about still.

Blue October is one of the most humble bands I know. (Metallica and Ed Sheeran are also good examples of humbleness.) They are up-and-coming rock stars, yet they don’t take their fans and shows for granted. They put everything they have into each and every show they play, too. The whole band are living sober, healthy lives.

My first Blue show felt like Christmas, birthday, and a dream come true. After the show, I got in line to get my copy of Justin’s An Open Book signed, and he gave me a hug. I told him, “I love your music,” to which he replied, “Well, I love you.” He got it. He meant it. It was the sweetest, coolest thing.

Then he gave me a hug. I wasn’t expecting a hug. It was so cool. “Aww, thank you,” I remember saying as I received the hug.

I love the energy and the current message of positivity and overcoming your inner struggles/demons to create a better way of life for yourself. In the past, I listened to Blue October to not feel alone in my depression and suicidal thoughts–which were quite frequent and very dark in those days. Now, I listen to Blue October to lift myself up, and to affirm my dream of continuing to live a better, happier life.

I can never thank Justin, Ryan, Matt, Ryan, and Will N. enough. They mean everything to me. They daily lift me up, and help me get back up when I’m feeling down.

If you are looking for a band that will change your outlook on life, you need to look no further. Blue October will do just that and so much more.

Thanks for reading,

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