Monday, March 31, 2014

Blue October at The Catalyst – A Concert Review

     I am not a victim!!! If anyone is a victim, it’s the person who must put up with my behavior!
It’s refreshing to hear that message, since we’re in an era in which seemingly everyone claims to be a victim of their circumstances. So, there is something honest and uplifting about going to a Blue October concert, despite the troubled and troubling lyrics of many of the songs. It helps that lead singer Justin Furstenfeld appears to be past the more difficult portion of his life. 

     Blue October is based in Texas (currently Houston). The members of the band are Justin Furstenfeld (lead vocals and guitar), Ryan Delahoussaye (viola/violin, guitar/mandolin, piano), Jeremy Furstenfeld (drums), Matt Noveskey (bass), and C.B. Hudson (guitar). The troubles of Justin Furstenfeld are well documented, since he writes his music around those troubles. It was the 2006 release of “Hate Me” that hooked us as fans of Blue October. The song is honest and revealing. The lyrics include:
I'm sober now for three whole months, it's one accomplishment that you helped me with.
The one thing that always tore us apart is the one thing I won't touch again.
In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night.
While I was busy waging wars on myself, you were trying to stop the fight.
You never doubted my warped opinions on things like suicidal hate.
You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take.
So I'll drive so fucking far away that I never cross your mind.
And do whatever it takes in your heart to leave me behind.

     But the draw to Blue October is not just the song writing. Particularly in concert, Blue October has other features that maintain the interest of a listener, and the diversity in the songs allows the individual features to show themselves. The band is formed of musicians, not just members who can use musical instruments. Delahoussaye sometimes plays three instruments in a single song, and supports a viola against his neck when he temporarily transitions between the string instrument and either the guitar or the keys. Hudson is an accomplished guitar player, who steps into the spotlight when Blue October transitions from the Pop genre to Heavy Metal. And Justin Furstenfeld is pitch perfect, whether singing slow, thoughtful lyrics or releasing a melodic scream.  

     “Sway” by Blue October

     “Hate Me” by Blue October

     “The Worry List” by Blue October

Our best recollection of last night’s setlist in Santa Cruz is:
1.    Intro - To Be
2.    Sway
3.    Say It
4.    Light You Up
5.    Congratulations
6.    Calling You
7.    Into The Ocean
8.    Fear
9.    Debris
10.  The Getting Over It Part
11.  James
12.  X Amount of Words
13.  Bleed Out
14.  Hate Me

15.  The Worry List
16.  Not Broken Anymore
17.  Things We Do At Night 

1 comment:

  1. I was there and I really enjoyed their performance. I've seen them more than 20 times and each time a concert ends, I begin to miss them as if I had not seen them in years. Justin can make you feel his pain in one song and his happiness in the next.
    side note: the opening band, The Aristocrats, really rocked the place.