• Christine

Blue October Is Back Live… Sort Of!

Updated: Mar 17

It’s been over 5 months since Blue October played a full band live show together. Like most artists, the band has been sidelined because of Covid-19. Their 2020 tour plans have been cancelled and they aren’t sure when they will be able to go back out on the road.


Also like most other artists, Blue October has been trying to fill the void that having no in person concerts has left. They’ve all been spending more time with their families. Some of the guys in the band have worked on some side projects and recorded new music.


Blue October is due to have a new album out this fall and they’ve been putting the finishing touches on it. Lead singer Justin Furstenfeld has been very active with live streams. He’s done several full shows on the StageIt platform, as well as going live every Tuesday and Friday night on the band’s social media. You can read about his first StageIt show here.


But for the first time since February, Blue October got together on Saturday, July 25th and played a full live show together. There were no screaming fans and there was no reason to get to the show early to get your spot on the rail. Justin didn’t douse the crowd with water from his water bottle during “Daylight”. But you did have to buy a ticket and (depending on the ticket you purchased) your only option was to see the show live.

Blue October

It may not have been perfect, but for the first time since last November, I got to see a full band Blue October live show – on my television.

So what was it like to watch a Blue October concert from your couch? Was it worth it? Is this the future of concerts for now? Keep reading to find out.


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THE VENUE

So, I obviously watched the show from my couch in my family room. The “venue” was the new platform Blue October has built during the pandemic called GetBackUp.tv. The platform is exclusive to Blue October and contains all kinds of content – both free and paid – for Blue October fans to dig into.


To access the platform, you just set up an account (which is free). Once you have a log-in, you have access to all of the free content and have the ability to pay for premium content such as past StageIt shows and the band’s documentary – “Get Back Up”. For this particular live show, you had to purchase a ticket. There were various ticket options available, ranging from a ticket to watch the show only once live, to a ticket that allowed unlimited viewing access to the show after, to premium tickets that featured virtual “meet and greets” with the band.

Blue October

Blue October played on a sound stage somewhere outside of their home base in Austin, TX.

Blue October themselves performed the show on a full sound stage somewhere in the Austin, TX area.


THE SHOW


BLUE OCTOBER

ABOUT THE ARTIST

If you know me or follow my blog at all, you know that Blue October is one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them multiple times in concert and in my opinion, they put on one of the best live shows out there.


The last time I saw Blue October live and in person was for their November 15, 2019 show at Webster Hall in NYC. We were on the rail right in front of bassist Matt Novesky, and it was an amazing show! You can read more about that show here.


As I mentioned above, Blue October – and particularly Justin Furstenfeld – has done a great job of trying to stay connected to fans. In addition to playing music online several times a week, Furstenfeld has shared his story and advice around recovery every Tuesday night on the band’s social media.

Blue October

Justin Furstenfeld was born to be a rock star… even if there is no audience directly in front of him.

THE PERFORMANCE

I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about watching a “live” concert on my t.v. But after it was all said and done, I was so happy I watched.


Blue October kicked off the show with “I Want It”. You could tell from the first note that the band was happy to be together and playing. They continued on with a couple of their biggest hits including “Into The Ocean”.

Blue October

The whole band had lots of energy throughout the show, including drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld, who was also sporting a new mustache!

Lead singer Justin Furstenfeld didn’t talk as much as he normally does during a show. I’m sure it was a little awkward to just be talking into a camera rather than talking to people in a live audience. But before playing their song “Home”, he talked about the fact that while the band misses being on the road, it has been nice for all of them to spend time at home with their families.


The set included a good mix of old and new songs. Justin and Ryan even played “Picking Up Pieces”, which is one of their older songs and rarely played.

Blue October

Ryan on vocals and the violin.

When I’ve seen Blue October live in the past, the shows tend to ramp up slowly and then hit a point where they play 4 or 5 of their super high energy songs right before the main set ends. This set had more ups and downs. They played a slower song like “King”, then went into the pounding “Daylight”, and then went back acoustic with “How To Dance In Time”.

Blue October

Blue October slowing it down with an acoustic version of “How To Dance In Time”.

Another great moment in the show and one of the rare times Justin spoke, was in introducing “Fear”, which he dedicated to his Dad. Justin has talked about his Dad a lot recently on his live streams, asking for prayers for him as he is currently battling cancer.


All in all, this was a fantastic show. Blue October sounded great. I think it took them a little bit to get loose and into the show, but they didn’t have any rust after not having played together for months. It definitely came across that they were having a great time playing together, and I’m sure it felt good for them to be back together and on stage.

Blue October

Blue October taking a bow at the end of the show. There was no applause they could hear from the audience, but I think they felt the love of their fans.

The show wasn’t the same as being at a “normal” concert. But I danced and sang. I blasted certain songs (which I’m sure my neighbors hated). Before Blue October played their closer – “I Hope You’re Happy” – Justin looked into the camera and told everyone how much they missed the fans and that they would see us on the road soon. I admit it – I cried. Concerts have been such a huge part of my life, and going without them just sucks.


But, I continue to hold out hope that they will be back soon and I will be back in a room with my favorite bands and my favorite people having a blast, and not just on my couch watching on my television.

Blue October

The boys had big smiles on their faces at the end of the show. And after my little cry, I did too!

Set List (click on any title to purchase the song on Amazon): I Want It, Say It, Calling You, Into The Ocean, Home, All That We Are, A Quiet Mind, Let Forever Mean Forever, Picking Up Pieces, Sway, Oh My My, Should Be Loved, King, Daylight, How To Dance In Time, Fear, The Worry List, Hate Me, Things We Do At Night, I Hope You’re Happy


Have you seen Blue October before? Have you watched any live shows from your couch? If so, what did you think? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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