It’s no secret that I’m a massive pop junkie, but what you may not know is that I’m also a huge fan of anything even vaguely acoustic.
There’s something about listening to songs broken down so basically that is very beautiful and enjoyable to me, so when I was offered a spare ticket to see Justin Furstenfeld do an acoustic set (which also included him telling stories and answering questions from the audience), I jumped at the chance even though I knew nothing about him.
For those of you who are as unfamiliar with Justin as I was, he’s the lead singer of the band Blue October, an American band who’s genre of music is probably classed as rock, but whose massive back catalogue contains both rocky numbers and moving ballads.
During the course of his show, Justin not only performed Blue October songs acoustically, but also explained the stories behind the songs, which meant I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. Some of these stories were hilarious and entertaining, but most of them were beyond heart-breaking, including honest talk his drug addiction, battles with depression and his fight to see his eldest daughter Blue. I’ve never heard anyone talk so honestly about depression, and when I heard about how hard he fought with his drug addiction for the sake of his wife and children (his wife in particular sounds like the most understanding woman in history), I couldn’t help but be moved to tears on more than one occasion, especially when he apologised to the audience for lying about being clean years ago when actually he was still using.
So after spending the evening in what can only be described as counselling at a concert, I decided to check out Blue October’s back catalogue. And just Wow. Wow. Wow. So much pain, love, joy, sadness, just indescribable awesome.
So I thought it was only right that I pass on the Blue October shaped baton that my friend had passed onto me (thanks for that Dr Michael), and introduced them to others who may not have heard of them by recommending three classic tracks
Blue October tracks to check out…
1. Worry List
Probably one of the most well-known songs by Blue October, this heart-breaking song is about Justin’s struggles to have access to his daughter, a song for her so she knows he didn’t walk out on her and that he loves her. For such a tough subject it’s oddly beautiful, and not in any way hateful towards the people stopping him seeing her. Basically it made me cry for the first 15 times I heard it.
For anyone who has ever experienced the difficulties of seeing your parents’ divorce (especially if there were access issues) this might be a particularly hard one to listen to, but regardless of your personal situation, you’ll never feel more grateful for the family and friends you do have around you, even if not all of them are currently in your life. This song makes me want to call my Dad every time I hear it.
2. Should Be Loved
So after listening to something quite slow, it’s time to break it up with a more rocky number. Should Be Loved perfectly documents the feeling of loving someone but knowing they are falling out of love with you. Oddly upbeat for a topic that is normally covered in ballads by boy bands (and I should know, my money tends to go towards said boy bands).
3. Hate Me
This song feels like a slight mix between the two previous songs. The beauty and honesty of the Worry List, but the beat of Should be Loved…but a bit angrier. Once again, Justin’s honesty about his drug attention and how it affected those around him shines through from the start, and you can feel his pain in every note. Basically he’s fucking ace.
I know that it can be difficult to listen to new music, especially if it’s not the type of genre you’d normally go for, but if this post makes just one person become a fan of the incredible Justin Furstenfeld, then it would have been worth it.
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