• Christine

Blue October Plays Webster Hall in NYC!

Updated: Mar 21

I discovered Blue October almost 2 years ago. A good friend, who is also a fellow Dave Matthews Band fan (so I trust her musical taste), kept telling my husband and I that we needed to go see them live.


So, when Blue October played a show in Wilmington, DE in May of 2018, we decided to check them out. I was blown away! You can read about that show here.

Fast forward to today and I am so obsessed with this band, that when they didn’t have a Philly date on the schedule for this leg of their tour, we bought tickets for their NYC show at Webster Hall instead. I’m always looking for an excuse to go up to New York, and seeing Blue October is as good of an excuse as you can get!

Blue October

If Blue October won’t come to you, you go to Blue October.

Seeing Blue October is not about the lights or the production. At the end of the day, Blue October is about the music and the message of the music. It’s about the feeling and passion that lead singer Justin Furstenfeld puts into every note. Seeing a Blue October show is about losing yourself for a couple of hours as you ride the wave of the emotion of the show.


I don’t think I can ever do a Blue October show justice in the words I write about it, but I’ll do my best to convince you to go see them yourself. Keep reading!


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THE VENUE

Webster Hall is a nightclub and concert venue located in the East Village of New York City. The venue has a long history since it was built in 1886. It was originally used as a “hall for hire” and held everything from labor union rallies to weddings.


In 1992, Webster Hall was re-opened by the Ballinger brothers. The refurbished venue served as both a nightclub and a live music venue.

Webster Hall

Webster Hall has both a floor area and a balcony area.

Tip #1: We got to the venue about 20 minutes before the doors opened. We were pretty far back in the line to get in. Once we got in, we headed straight for the stage area and we were able to get on the rail all the way on the right side (if you are facing the stage). This turned out to be a great spot. The view was good and we had easy access to leave for drinks and the bathroom.


In April of 2017, it was announced that Webster Hall had been sold to Brooklyn Sports Entertainment – a division of AEG. Along with the sale came the announcement that the venue would be closing for 2 years. After spending $10 million in renovations, the new Webster Hall opened in April of 2019 with a concert by Jay Z.

Webster Hall

Webster Hall has gone through an extensive upgrade and remodel.

LONGWAVE


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Longwave is an indie band that was originally formed in 1999. The original version of the band was formed by lead singer Steve Schiltz in New York. The band released their first album – Endsongs – in 2000. The album did well enough to gain some attention, and Longwave hit the road touring the U.S.


By 2002, Longwave had gained the attention of RCA Records, who signed them to a record deal and released their second album – The Strangest Things. They continued to gain popularity by hitting the road with other bands like The Strokes.


By the time Longwave recorded their third album – There’s a Fire – they had rotated through several members of the band. They eventually parted ways with RCA Records before recording their fourth album – Secrets Are Sinister – in 2008.


After the release of their fourth album, the band went on an extended hiatus. In fact, they didn’t become active again until January of 2018. The current line up of Longwave features original members Steve Schiltz (vocals/guitar) and Shannon Ferguson (guitar), along with new members Jason Molina (drums) and Christian Bongers (bass). The band is back to making music, including releasing a new single – “Dreamers Float Away” – in July of 2019. Longwave also released a new album – If We Ever Live Forever – in October.

Longwave

The 2019 version of Longwave!

THE PERFORMANCE


Longwave took the stage just before 8:00 p.m. With the view we had, we could see what looked like a “friends and family” room up above the side of the stage. With this being a “local” show for Longwave, it looked like their spouses and kids were able to be there and enjoy the show!

Longwave

Longwave opening up for Blue October.

I really enjoyed Longwave’s sound. Some of the songs reminded me of The Cure, which is always a plus in my book. Here’s a video of one of the songs played during their set.


Longwave’s set Friday night proved that the band is back and sounding great. They are definitely a band to check out!

Longwave

Longwave played a great opening set!

Longwave is currently on the road supporting Blue October. Check out their website for more information.


BLUE OCTOBER


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Blue October has been around since 1995. They were formed in Houston, TX by brothers Justin and Jeremy Furstenfeld and Ryan Delahoussaye. The current line-up of the band consists of Justin Furstenfeld (lead vocals, guitar), Jeremy Furstenfeld (drums, percussion), Ryan Delahoussaye (violin/viola, mandolin, piano, backing vocals), Matt Noveskey (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Will Knaak (lead guitar).

Blue October

Blue October has been making music since 1995, and they don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon!

The band first gained attention in 1998 when former Kid Rock manager Michael Rand saw them play at the Atchafalaya River Café in Houston. Rand’s agency booked them to play over 350 dates. They released their first album – The Answers – in 1998.


Their first album led them to signing a record deal with Universal Records. Under Universal, the band released their second album – Consent to Treatment – in 1999. Unfortunately, Universal dropped Blue October after just a year.


Despite being dropped, Blue October carried on. They signed with Rainmaker Artists, and released their third album – History For Sale. The first single from that album – “Calling You” – started getting regular play on a radio station in Dallas, and it slowly spread across the country. This led to Blue October getting attention from several record labels. They ultimately re-signed with Universal.


By 2006, Blue October started to see some commercial success. Their singles “Hate Me” and “Into the Ocean” from the album Foiled were both decent successes on the charts. The band also got national attention by performing on shows like The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Jimmy Kimmel Live!


Blue October followed up the success of Foiled with their fifth studio album – Approaching Normal. The album contained singles “Dirt Room” and “Say It”. The band was starting to sell out shows and gaining a big following around the country.


With the release of their 6th studio album – Any Man In America – the band chose to become independent and form their own record label (Up/Down Records) for distributing their music. They have continued to remain independent.  Their latest album – I Hope You’re Happy – was released in August of 2018 and they are currently working on new music for their next album.


THE PERFORMANCE

Blue October took the stage around 9:00 p.m. They kicked off their set with a newer song – “Coal Makes Diamonds” – and then right into one of their older hits – “Say It”.


As I mentioned above, one of the things I love most about a Blue October show, is that the music takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Because the songs are an expression of what lead singer Justin Furstenfeld is going through in his life at the time, the mood of the songs makes you feel those different emotions.


A favorite of Blue October fans and a song that many people directly relate to is “Into The Ocean”, which they played towards the beginning of their set. Justin always sings that song with so much passion and emotion – you can hear the pain in his voice.

Blue October

Lead singer Justin Furstenfeld sings every song with passion!

And if Justin is the star of Blue October, the co-star is Ryan Delahoussaye. He not only plays multiple instruments and is extremely talented, but he really plays to the crowd more than any one else in the band during the show.

Blue October

Ryan Delahoussaye is part of the heart and soul of Blue October.

For this show, we had a great spot on the rail right in front of bassist Matt Noveskey. I had to look twice at the shirt he was wearing, because I knew it said Toledo, OH on it, which is my hometown. In talking to Matt after the show, turns out he lived in Adrian, MI (about 30 miles from Toledo) until he was about 10 years old. The shirt was for a tattoo parlor in Toledo. Very cool!

Blue October

Matt Noveskey representing Toledo, OH!

As with all Blue October shows, they typically reach a climax with some of Blue October’s “heavier” songs. In this particular set, that came with the song “Daylight” from their latest album.

Blue October

From ballads to heavy rocking songs, Blue October does it all!

During the set, Blue October also returned to their early roots. Justin talked about when they first started out and were trying to get booked in venues. He said that most of the venues would turn them away, so they would set up on the sidewalk outside and just play. They played a few songs acoustically to honor those early days.

Blue October

Blue October doing some acoustic songs.

After wrapping up their main set with their signature song “Hate Me”, the rest of the guys took a break and Justin came back out on stage. I thought Justin would do a solo acoustic song like he has in past shows. Instead he let Ryan have the spotlight and perform an original song on the violin, which was amazing!

Blue October

Ryan Delahoussaye playing some solo work in the encore.

When the rest of the band came back to the stage, they kicked off the encore set with the moody “Your Love Is Like a Car Crash”, which always features Justin being a bit dramatic and with some “interpretive dancing”.

Blue October

Justin wore a mask to add to the effect of “Your Love Is Like A Car Crash”.

Before playing “Fear”, Justin talked to the crowd about his struggle with depression and the fact that it is still a struggle for him to get out of bed every day. Justin’s honesty about his battle with his mental health is what endears him so much to his fans.

Blue October

Justin is an open book and his fans appreciate it.

The show ended on a high note with Blue October’s most recent hit single “I Hope Your Happy”.

Blue October

Blue October getting a shot of the crowd after the show.

As usual, I left the show completely satisfied and happy we made the trip up to NYC! I can’t wait to see them again.

Blue October

Blue October thanking the crowd after the show.

Blue October only has a few more dates on this leg of their tour. But, I’ve heard a rumor that they might be heading back to Europe in the spring. Sounds like a good excuse for a trip! Keep up with all of their news on their website.


Set List (click on any title to purchase the song on Amazon): Coal Makes Diamonds, Say It, Bleed Out, King, Into The Ocean, I Want To Come Back Home, The Worry List, A Quiet Mind, Ugly Side, I Want It, Daylight, James, Things We Do At Night, Hate Me Encore: Ryan Solo, Your Love Is Like A Car Crash, I Will Follow You, Fear, I Hope Your Happy


Are you a fan of Blue October? Have you seen them live? Let us know!  Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


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#BlueOctober #longwave #WebsterHall

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