Last week Blue October stopped at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania as part of their tour supporting their newest album, Sway. As a whole album was widely regarded as a return to form for the band who has been in out of the spotlight since their 2006 massive hit album, Foiled. The tour in support of their album has seen them go across the country and back again as they continue to bring their music to the fans who love it, and boy do the fans really love it. I can’t say enough about their fans, I talked with a few through out the night who had been to 15 plus show and even travelled to to see entire legs of the tour. That is dedication, a band doesn’t get fans like those without putting on a great live performance and being talented artists so I was very curious to see what the show would be like as it was my first time seeing their live show.
I want to first address the band’s stage lighting, this normally something I don’t focus on or if I do it is at the end but this time I can’t allow myself to do that for a multitude of reasons. Blue October, without a doubt, have one of the most beautiful lighting designs for any performance I have ever seen. The venue was flooded with fog and vibrant colors from all end of the spectrum were illuminating them from the side and the back of the stage. At times all you could see were blurry outlines of the band and at others you could see them clear as day due to how they had their lighting positioned. It truly took what was already a great performance on the musical end (more on this later) and transformed it into a masterpiece work of art. Each song was given a mood and a feeling beyond the existing one just due to the color cast put out from the lights. Major props go out to whoever designed this lighting for the tour and the band for embracing it to make a true on stage visual arts performance.
Moving on to the musical side of things because I know that is what most people care about when they go to a show. There are no complaints, only compliments the biggest of which is going to Justin Furstenfeld for his live vocals. Blue October’s studio albums are widely known partially because of Furstenfeld’s unique vocal style but the live performance does it a lot more justice than the studio albums can even hope to capture. The words that come to mind are raw, powerful and full of emotion. He doesn’t just sing the lyrics, he makes you feel them and really believe them which isn’t something you come across very often.
I don’t want to blindside the rest of the band though because their collective performance was just as great as Justin’s was. Ryan Delahoussaye did things with a violin that I have never seen in a live “rock” concert but that is so much of where Blue October’s sound comes from and it was great to see it be equally as strong in their live performance. Jeremy Furstenfeld, Matt Noveskey and, C.B. Hudson all deserve equal shout outs because their parts were delivered with the level of excellence you come to expect in today’s live music scene. I tend to stay away from blanket statements but this line up really embodies all that Blue October has become over the years and has a lot of pure, talented musicians.
I see now why Blue October has acquired such a large fanbase of truly dedicated fans, their show isn’t just a concert it is a performance mixed with a visual work of art. Would I travel to multiple cities to see it? Perhaps I would but for now I am just going to look forward to their return to Pennsylvania as I’m sure all the fans who came out to this show are going to be. The venue hit about 1,000 fans strong before the band came on, a great turn out for a show in the middle of the week I feel. I wish more people had taken a chance and come out because it was well worth it, they are the only ones who missed out. Be sure to check out Blue October’s Sway Tour when it comes to a town near you and check out our exclusive photo gallery below :