Blue October | 02.09.07

It makes sense Blue October has such a diverse fan base, as their music ranges from the alt-rock sensibilities of "Razor Blade," to lovely confessional ballads like "Blue Sunshine," to melodic pop like "Calling You," to the techno of "X Amount of Words."

 

Metro, Chicago

It was a freezing night in Chicago and a long line of people had to wait over an hour to enter the Metro. After mediocre opening act the Damnwells played, Blue October hit the stage and the coldness was forgiven and forgotten.

Blue October is one of those bands that has slowly emerged onto the scene. 2000's Consent to Treatment and 2003's History for Sale helped put the Texas band more into the mainstream. Tonight, lead singer Justin Furstenfeld walked onstage bursting with energy. He wore his signature suit and eyeliner, being his typical emo self. The band jumped into "You Make Me Smile" from their latest record, Foiled. Instantly, the crowd began shouting out the lyrics.

These are diehard fans who have been around since Blue October's seedling roots. The fans varied from as young as 15 to as old as 50, with punksters, hardcore fans, and preppies singing and dancing along. It makes sense Blue October has such a diverse fan base, as their music ranges from the alt-rock sensibilities of "Razor Blade," to lovely confessional ballads like "Blue Sunshine," to melodic pop like "Calling You," to the techno of "X Amount of Words."

Violinist Ryan Delahoussaye chimed in on "Independently Happy," bringing melodrama to the already intense set. Furstenfeld sang a slower track, "She's My Ride Home," emoting empathy with echoing vocal effects. He manages to project both passion and anger, being brazen and loud while navigating the stage. "HRSA" hit anthemic U2 territory with blasting guitars and strings. The audience responded to "Would You Meet Me" with fists pounding into the air, as the band provided lengthy violin and guitar solos. For "Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek," smoke consumed the stage; later, red lights glared on Furstenfeld, making him look like the devil as he screamed, "you sick fuck" to the all-ages audience.

The set ended on the life-affirming "Into the Ocean," the band's most recent single. Suddenly, the venue became churchlike, with the band feeling and reacting to the masses and Reverend Furstenfeld preaching his songs on personal bouts of mental illness and drug abuse to the sold-out crowd. The song ended, and Blue October momentarily left the stage, only to return for a four-song encore.

Furstenfeld lightly bantered before "18th Floor Balcony," dedicating it to his pregnant wife waiting in the wings. Despite shout outs for "Ugly Side," Blue October next sang a rousing rendition of their hit, "Hate Me," ending the night on a satisfactory plateau. The band gave quite a generous set, despite Furstenfeld's vocals, strained but still powerful from months of touring.

Metro hosted an after-party with free beer and pizza and Delahoussaye DJing. Fans at the party simply gawked at him rather than dancing to the tunes. Overall, Blue October delivered an intense and invigorating performance, earning their newfound commercial status. | Garin Pirnia

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply