Written by Eddie Ferranti
May 15, 2010 at 07:00 PM
ImageIt is that time a year again when the Sam Houston Race Park rolls out its Showgrounds Concert series. Up on the docket this post rainy day in Houston was a rock band called Blue October.

The grounds were a bit soggy, but it did not dampen the spirits of the mighty throng that landed in the infield. I was taken aback by the massive crowd quite frankly. These lads had there beginnings in Houston circa 1995.  They call Austin their home now and current line-up is Justin Furstenfeld on mad man vocals and rhythm guitar, Ryan Delahoussaye on violin, mandolin and interesting viola,  Jeremy Furstenfeld on skins, C.B Hudson lead guitar and Matt Noveskey on bass. I’ve been trying to catch this act for years to no avail due to constant conflicts with “our” schedules.

BO was bringing their once delayed tour to town, “Pick Up the Phone”. It was supposed to hit the road late last year, but was derailed by the mental illness problems of lead singer Furstenfeld.  His shaky mental state has never been kept under wraps. Hell you can hear all about this cat’s life thru their lyrics. The message he sends is quite diversified in deep brooding tunes or happy I’m doin’ better type shit.

Blue October brought it all this night for sure to the loyal adoring masses. Cranking out crowd favorites like “She’s My Ride Home”, “Say It”, “H.R.S.A.”, and “Dirt Room” had Justin stalking the stage like a man posessed. These dudes came onto the scene thru a break being on the soundtrack of American Pie with “Calling You”. The classic diatribe by Justin was when he introduced the tune “Black Orchid”. Here he made everyone aware that this current tour was dedicated to raising awareness for mental disorders (JF is bi-polar) plus suicide prevention. Mr. Furstenfeld made a passionate cry for help to the crowd to take this cause seriously.

Obviously. the chap who was to interview JF from the Houston Press did not when he asked Furstenfeld to PRODUCE proof of his medications before an interview would be granted. NOT a good idea. What followed was a well deserved F Bomb parade followed by “See what I mean?!”

When the gig got back goin’, it kicked butt big time. Gems included “Into the Ocean”, “X Amount of Words”, “Come In Closer” and killer “Jump Rope”. “Hate Me” was beyond a sing along tune with this very happy to be here crowd! It was great to finally catch this act and it seems their future is bright with Justin saying things like “I’m thinking three or four albums ahead right now. For me it’s about keeping going with the music”. Sounds like a person with his head screwed on straight to me and the music biz is much better for it…God Bless and see ya out there.