Blue October On The Couch!
Updated: Mar 17
I wrote my last concert review a little over a month ago. I went to see William Wild and City of the Sun at World Cafe Live on March 12th. The next day, places in the Philadelphia area were starting to shut down. By the time that weekend was over, we were being asked to shelter-in-place, and every music venue in the Philadelphia region was shut down. You can read more about that show, and that experience, here.
It’s hard to believe, but just a few weeks later – and into the foreseeable future – the only way I’m going to be able to see any concerts is through a live stream video while sitting on my couch.
As you know if you read my blog regularly, concerts are a huge part of my life. So, before this happened, my concert calendar was pretty full. In fact when all this happened, the next concert I had on my calendar was to see Blue October on April 2nd at Union Transfer. Well, the coronavirus had other plans, and that was the first concert on my calendar to get moved (the new date is for the end of July).
Luckily, Blue October and Justin Furstenfeld knows how much live music means to their fans, so he has been going live on the band’s social media periodically to play live music for us. And last Friday, he played a full-length concert on the StageIt platform.
So, take a seat on your own couch and join me as I take you through my first Corona Couch Concert!
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So, technically the venue was my couch in my house, since that’s where I sat to watch the show. (By the way, the drinks were WAY cheaper than most venues I’ve been to!)
The actual “venue” was a platform called StageIt. The website hosts live performances by artists. The artists use a web cam, and their performance is streamed on the site.
Hey look! I’m on the rail! And I didn’t have to wait in line or run into the venue to claim my spot. There is a positive to everything!
Unlike some of the other live streaming that artists have been doing on their own social media, you have to pay to watch a StageIt performance.
Tip #1: StageIt runs on a “coin” currency. When you create an account, you need to buy “coins” to have in your account. Then when you want to purchase tickets to a show, you use those “coins” to purchase the tickets. You can also use “coins” to virtually tip the artist during the show.
Tip #2: StageIt does limit the number of participants for its shows. I’m not sure, but I think it might be a limitation on how much traffic their server can handle. The Blue October show sold out, so be sure to get your tickets early for their next show.
StageIt has a chat box, so you can chat with fellow fans during the show. You can also watch the show in full screen mode, which I personally found much better and less distracting.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
While the show was billed as Blue October, for obvious reasons the whole band was not able to perform together. So, the show on Friday was just lead singer Justin Furstenfeld.
I’ve seen Blue October live several times and they have quickly become one of my favorite bands. You can read more about the band here.
Even though I was disappointed to miss my full band Blue October show the previous night, I was excited to see Justin perform solo. In “normal” times, Justin goes out on the road solo from time to time, in a show he calls his Open Book Tour. I’ve never had a chance to see him do a solo show, and I’ve heard amazing things about it. So, I was excited to see the virtual version of it.
The show was a virtual version of Justin’s Open Book solo shows. He’s been broadcasting from a space he rented specifically to do the shows. It’s even complete with lots of cool art work.
I was also excited, because Justin promised all of us that this would be a full length show. He said he planned to play 21 or 22 songs – the entire set list they are planning for the Get Back Up Tour, plus a few more.
The show had a little bit of a rough start. It did “sell out”, and it appeared that the large amount of traffic on the site might have caused some technical difficulties. As soon as Justin started playing the first song, the feed stopped. Then I got one of those horrible error messages that indicated that the site crashed.
But after lots of screaming at my laptop and some refreshing, everything came back. Unfortunately, Justin must not have completely understood how the platform worked when he promised a 21 song set. The site limits the length of the show to 30 minutes, although after the technical difficulties, they extended his time an extra 40 minutes.
Once Justin got started, he just kept moving through the songs. This was not a typical Open Book Tour show, where Justin talks a lot in between songs. He was clearly on a mission to fit as many songs as possible into the time he had. In fact, he even shortened a couple of songs like “Interglow”.
Justin played a couple of songs off the new album, which will be coming out later this year. He led off the show with one of them, which I haven’t heard yet. Later in the set, he played “Oh My My”, which is the first officially released single off the new album.
The set list also included a couple of older favorites, many of which were particularly meaningful. Justin’s renditions of “Worry List” and “Fear” gave me chills!
One of the things I love the most about Justin, is the amount of passion he has. It doesn’t matter if he’s playing solo, with the band, or through the computer!
Time started running out, and Justin promised that if there was anything he planned to play and didn’t have time to get to, he would play it on his Tuesday night show on the band’s social media.
As Justin rushed to get a couple more songs in, one of my favorite parts of the show happened. During his Tuesday night live stream a couple of days before, he brought a random fan on live with him on his Instagram feed. The fan had her small daughter with her. When Justin asked what song she wanted to hear on Friday, the little girl replied “Jump Rope”. As time was running short on Friday, I was afraid Justin had forgotten about the request. I was wrong! It was a quick version, but that young fan got her request!
Before wrapping up the show with “I Hope Your Happy”, Justin announced that he would be doing another StageIt performance in 2 weeks, and for the show, he would be playing the whole “Foiled” album. I hope StageIt gives him more than 30 minutes. I’ve already got my ticket! And just a quick note, the first “Foiled” album show on StageIt is already sold out, so a second show has been added. Get your tickets fast!
Set List (click on any title to purchase the song on Amazon): New song, She’s My Ride Home, Clumsy Card House, I Want To Come Back Home, The Worry List, Fear, I Want It, Into The Ocean, Calling You, Ugly Side, A Quiet Mind, Oh My My, All That We Are, Jump Rope, Interglow, I Hope Your Happy
Have you ever attended a show on StageIt before? What did you think? Let us know! Comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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