Blue October

March 11, 2010

  3:45pm – So it began. The quest to see a band that was marveled for their stage performances, and that had drawn a few thousand followers since their big release last year; "Calling You." A testament to sharing love across the miles, touring, and rock star life. The rain pelted down on the roof of the car, and as we drove, there were times when it was so bad that you couldn’t see the road in front of you. We didn’t think that this trip was going to be worth it, however, as we entered Galveston, miraculously the rain slowed, and calmly ceased. It was fate, definitely fate.
  We arrive at the venue, and though it was cold out, and I had left my pack of cigarettes in the car, I was determined to not miss a single minute of the so-called Blue October phenomenon. We walked around the streets of Galveston, in the middle of a poor excuse for Mardi Gras. Though there were no naked breasts around, there were quite a few drunken fools, lots of beads, and a vibe so thick you could cut it with a knife. We stood around for about 20 minutes, caught a local Austin act by the name of Jason Boland, and decided that we should go out to the main stage to see if Justin and the gang had decided to cancel, or just go on late. On the main stage an act from Tennessee, Ingram Hill, was finishing up their set. It was very modernistic. As soon as they finished, the crowed tripled in size, and under a sky that looked as if it could spit lightning and rain at any minute, Blue October took the stage. Previous conversations, between spectators were silenced as the entire crew stepped up to the microphone and  asked how the crowd was “Tonight.” Carnival mayhem in the form of shouting, bead throwing, and fist-in-the-air angst, was slowly drawing over the some 300 people who were there. Some of them, like myself, had driven 3-4 hours just to see this performance in the rain.
    Justin Furstenfeld, the ringleader on this psychotic circus trip though mental and emotional torment, is a born performer. He exudes a slick confidence in his vocal styling, and at times, seems to be portraying someone other than himself. He’s not your cookie cutter rock star. He speaks softly, and seems inhibited, until the mask comes off, and his inner self comes screaming to the surface. The favored “H.R.S.A” a cut from the 2000 release “Consent to Treatment” was the opener, and as soon as the first licks were barreled through the speaker stacks, the crowd immediately became entranced.
   “Ugly Side” a model song that proclaims “I only want you to see, my favorite part of me.” was another crowd favorite. So was the bands 2003 debut “Calling You.” A song that was featured in the release of American Wedding as part of the soundtrack. With national acclaim slowly building, Blue October has what it takes to woo a crowd of 200 or a crowd of 200,000. The torment that Furstenfeld puts into his music is a Blue October trademark, and decidedly so, remains the strongest aspect of their music. Songs such as “Somebody,” “Razorblade” and “Independently Happy” seem to speak volumes about Justin’s past, yet it is hard to determine the true origin of some of them.
  The band was cool, concise, and at the same time, Furstenfeld exorcised the demons living inside of himself. His hand motions, and raspy screams delighted the crowd. With the finale “James” he seemed relieved to have left whatever inner evil, dying on the stage. The pulpit of spectators now given their sermon, left with them, and as quickly as the crowd gathered, it faded. Furstenfeld is a magician, Houdini-esk, in nature, and with disciples chanting back his angst to him, he is most at home. 
  With the rain slowly starting to fall, we departed, off to our own realities, yet somehow envying the fact that someone had let us share theirs.


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