Not the old Blue October

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3 Abr 2009, 16:10

Wed 1 Apr – Blue October w/ Stars of Track and Field

In a sold-out Ogden Theater last night, I got to experience my third Blue October show. I thought I knew what to expect: a tightly produced gig with excellent musicianship, a decent light show, a lot of change-ups in musical tempo and great sound. My expectations were shattered. THIS SHOW FUCKING ROCKED!

Their new album, Approaching Normal, is extremely solid, but not entirely unexpected. The album builds upon the band's always deep and provocative lyrics, lyrics that draw upon the lead singer's struggle with bipolar disorder. Typically, the lyrics are backed by sophisticated musical arrangements containing just enough hooks to keep the masses interested. The album gives little indication that the old band, or at least its lead singer Justin Furstenfeld, has disappeared and been replaced by something much better!

Last night, Blue October "showed up." Justin marched onto stage not in his customary suit, but in black, his tattoos blaring, his hair pushed into a mohawk and touting a new attitude. At least 30 pounds lighter, his stare focused solidly on the crowd, not on the floor. And then they began to play. Whether it was excellent performance or real emotion, Justin bled his lyrics to the crowd. His face cringed, his fists pumped and his textured voice screamed into his hands. He paced and jumped and allowed his lyrics to disturb him, one time stopping inches in front of a light stand to twist his head and scream at the blinking lights.

The band didn't follow the typical routine by mixing new and old. They simply played the new album, almost start to finish. It worked brilliantly. The songs flowed from one to the other in a roller coaster of happy and sad, angry and euphoric. The band played in lock-step as if they had performed the new songs for years. Their sound was perfect, but not technical. Heart-felt and organic. It was just fucking awesome!

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  • alexandra1987

    After reading your review I just wish I had been there!

    5 Abr 2009, 18:46
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