The Austin-based band Blue October hit the Rams Head Live stage with full force on Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Lead singer Justin Furstenfeld, drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld, bassist Matt Noveskey, violinist/keyboardist Ryan Delahoussaye and guitarist Julian Mandrake were ready to put it all out there for the crowd to enjoy. As the band is known for truthful lyrics and a unique sound, it was no surprise the Rams Head was near full capacity on Tuesday night. The stint at the venue was part of their 2011 acoustic tour to promote the recently released live album, Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October.
The tour features a different side of Blue October and allows them to really promote the vocals in a live atmosphere. The raw and sincere sound of both vocals and music combined to perfectly create an ideal vibe. As opposed to live shows sans acoustic accompaniment, the Ugly Side tour allowed fans to sit and really take in the music. The Rams Head Live main floor had seating while those who wished to stand filled in the rest of the area on all three floors of the venue.
The opening band, The Soldier Thread, brought a perfect start to the evening with three of its five members being present to introduce themselves to the Blue October fans and expand their fan base to those outside of Texas. The Soldier Thread received excellent feedback from those in attendance and the future looks bright for this Austin quintet.
Blue October featured a well-rounded blend of their music, mixing their older songs such as Ugly Side and Amazing with more of the well-known songs like Into The Ocean. In addition, the band played two songs from their upcoming album Any Man In America which is due to be released on August 16, 2011. The songs The Feel Again and The Follow Through left the crowd in awe and wanting more. Patricia Lynn from the opening band, The Soldier Thread, joined the group for The Follow Through and is featured on their new album as well.
The magic to Blue October is a complex mixture of many factors. The band is much more than a group singing the songs simply to get paid. They put their hearts on their sleeves and create songs with meaning and candor. Whether it is a heartfelt ballad or of the in-your-face hard rock variety, the passion is there full force. Love, hate or indifference — no matter what the subject matter may be, Blue October gives 110% and puts meaning into every word.
Blue October fans are loyal to no end. For many, the band represents a way to purge the bad things in their lives and just enjoy the music. As a cathartic getaway to many as well as myself, Justin, Jeremy, Matt, Ryan and Julian provide us with the music and the release needed to get on with our daily lives. In addition to the fan loyalty which Blue October receives, the respect is returned as well. They are continually expressing their gratitude to the fan base for supporting them every step of the way.
Blue October is also a continual advocate for mental health issues and the rights of those suffering from mental health conditions. Last year, the group embarked on their Pick Up The Phone Tour in support of a few different mental health organizations. Dedicated and heartfelt are words commonly associated with this group and it is easy to see why.
As Blue October finishes up their acoustic tour, they leave in their wake many satisfied fans and new fans in the making. For those who have yet to hear the band play live or have not heard their music, there is sure to be quite a few songs which draw you in, no matter what type of music you like. The Rams Head Live show offered Blue October the perfect opportunity to return to the area and work their magic once again on the Baltimore, Maryland crowd.