Blue October Rocks the Soldout Crowd at The Van Buren

Blue October

Review and photos by Robbie Flores
Venue: The Van Buren
Date: Friday June 8th, 2018

One of my favorite things about being a concert photographer is that I almost always leave a show as a bigger fan of the band than I was when I walked in.  Blue October most definitely tops that list. Blue October is an alternative rock bank originally from Houston, TX,  formed in 1995 and currently consists of Justin Furstenfeld (lead signer and rhythm guitar), his brother Jeremy Furstenfeld (drums), Ryan Delahoussaye (keyboards), Matt Noveskey (bass) and Will Knaak (lead guitar).  They are best known for their platinum singles, “Hate Me” and “Into The Ocean”, from their 2006 platinum album, Foiled.  The band is currently on tour before their 9th studio album, I Hope You’re Happy, will be released later this summer.  From the moment they stepped on stage, Justin Furstenfeld commanded the audience, reaching out and connecting with several people individually, making us all feel like we were the only one in the audience.  They opened the show with one of their new singles, “I Want It”, and followed that up with “Sway”, which is perfectly fitting for the swaying Justin was doing from one side of the stage to other.  A short time into the set, the lights were dimmed, and Justin gave the most inspirational speech I have ever heard at a show.  He poetically described his daily struggle with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.  Yet, he battles through and makes the conscious, intentional and sober decision to fight those demons which allows his to see the incredible beauty life has to offer.  Seriously, You Tube it,  you won’t be sorry.  From there, he picked it back up and sang my favorite song of theirs, “Into The Ocean” and then went into a beautiful version of “18th Floor Balcony”.  They ended the set with one of their new songs, “I Hope You’re Happy”, which I love and can’t wait to buy!  The band stepped back onstage started the encore with an acoustic version of “Hate Me” and then finished earning every bit of the rock genre title they were originally given.  I wish Blue October much success on their new album, I will be first in line to buy it!  They are not only an incredibly group of talented musicians, but Justin wears his heart on his sleeve and spreads love and inspiration wherever he goes. 

Photos © Robbie Flores 2018, All Rights Reserved

Blue October’s Set List :
1. I Want It
2. Sway
3. Should Be Loved
4. The Chills
5. Say It
6. Into The Ocean
7. 18th Floor Balcony
8. Home
9. Daylight
10. X Amount of Words
11. I Hope You’re Happy

12. Hate Me
13. I Wanna Come Back Home
14. Fear
Houston Heights
Leave it in the Dressing Room (Shake It Up) 


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