Artist Spotlight

Hearts For Blue October

Photos by Space Anchor Studios, Article by Dot Notos

Blue October gathered on stage. 

I love how accidents happen. One minute, you’re being asked to cover a show. The next minute, you find yourself sharing an intimate experience. This is exactly how my night (at the Blue October show) went on November 11th. As I was going through security at the Old National Centre, I was patiently waiting to get my press passes. I sat and talked with one of the security ladies for a few minutes while one of the big wigs was fumbling around for our information. After I had signed in, I walked up to the Egyptian Room with one of the Head of Security ladies. She was explaining to me where I was allowed to go to be able to shoot. We conversed about the magazine a bit and she sent me on my way.

Justin Furstenfeld stands alone.

As I was entering the show, I noticed that there weren’t a whole bunch of people around. Usually when you go to a concert, it feels like you’re entering a sweat shack full of drunks. But on this particular night, walking into this show felt very different, as if you were walking into a personal conversation. I spent a few minutes standing at the door, as I was listening to Justin Furstenfeld yell out to the crowd, “Raise your hand if you believe in something of a higher power than you.” Shortly after, the crowd all began to throw their hands in the air, as if they were at rock worship service. The bass and guitars slowly swell with the drums, picking up pace. The sound of Justin’s voice really lets you into his life a little.

Silhouettes in the light show.

In latter days, he was a typical rock guy, struggling through the hellacious realms of the music industry. Justin, like most rock stars, struggled with addiction alongside most of what comes along with that type of demon. It was kind of refreshing to hear him talk in an optimistic tone. You can tell, through his set, that his struggles over the past 4 years have really made him into the light that he has become today.

The crowd holds up tiny paper hearts.

As I made my way through the crowd, snapping photos of the band. I noticed, through the lens, that everyone was holding up these paper hearts. Besides adding a cool aesthetic to the photo, I found it quite inspiring to see the fans that have followed the band for years supporting them through the changes. This, mostly out of everything, made the vibe of the night super intimate.

Justin raises his arm along with the crowd.

So, as I was finishing up for the night, I kind of sat back and watched everyone. Along with the band switching from electric to acoustic sets, Blue October really hit a soft spot for me. It goes to show you that people still know how to put on a show. I’ll never forget how everyone’s eyes felt, as I was pacing around the room for additional shots. It felt as if, throughout the years, they have been watching one of their own struggles through life and come out on top.  There is definitely a much founded respect for bands who continue to thrive somewhere in this industry. We all know, from past and recent accounts, that most of these artists put themselves on the line of death for our entertainment. Hopefully people such as Justin Furstenfeld can continue to be a martyr for the angels of the industry and set a good example for the fans who continue to support them.


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