Blue October Returns To Syracuse’s Westcott Theater for a SOLD OUT Show

Photos and Review: Chris Besaw

Last Saturday the temperatures in Syracuse NY may have been dropping, but that didn’t stop fans from making their way to the Westcott Theater to see Blue October and Kitten for an incredible SOLD OUT show!

Openers, Kitten, the Los Angeles based indie rock band kicked off the evening with some interesting high-octane music.  The band founded and fronted by Chloe Chides are currently on tour with Blue October.  Their sound is unique, it’s as if you took some early 80’s punk and mixed it with some 80’s metal and pop with the end result being Kitten.  I must admit from the moment they hit the stage, between lead singer Chloe’s erratic and energetic singing and dancing, mixed with the bands’ laid back and all smiles attitude it was hard to look away. One moment to highlight was when Chloe crowd surfed all the way from the venue’s back bar to the stage. It’s no wonder given that Chloe comes from old Los Angeles punk royalty, her father was the drummer for Thee Undertakers. The band played a great mix of songs, including, “Pink Champagne,” and “Strange Embrace.” Overall, a very memorable and great way to kick off the evening at the Westcott Theater. If you like strange and unusual music and live performances, Kitten might just surprise you.

Finally the moment had arrived, the mesmerizing and uplifting intro “To Be” is cued, the stage is lit only by pale blue lights and the band takes the stage.  Lead singer/guitarist Justin Furstenfeld walks up as bassist Matt Novesky’s deep notes rattle the room. The band charged right into “Daylight” a perfect song to kick off the show and set the tone for their performance. It got fans moving and singing right along.  Furstenfeld paused for a mere moment to thank the fans before they went right into a hard hitting and revved up version of “The Chills.”

I really love about seeing Blue October live. Justin Furstenfeld sings with such an incredible amount of passion and the band plays their hearts out as well.  There is something therapeutic about the experience. Between songs, Justin Furstenfeld takes time to talk with the audience about his own experiences with his battle with depression, addiction and family life. You can feel his sincerity as he connects with the audience.  Maybe, it’s his willingness to put himself out there and be vulnerable that makes Blue October a band that fans can relate to on multiple levels.

Their set was remarkable and included songs from their current release I Hope You’re Happy along with some very intense selections of tracks from their entire career. They played hits “Coal Makes Diamonds,” “Fear” and one of my personal favorites “The Worry List.” They ended their set with their newest track “I Hope You’re Happy.”  Before leaving the stage, Justin let the fans know that he would be happy to meet and greet fans at the merch table. Another incredible Blue October show here in Syracuse. I look forward to seeing them again in the future.

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