–by Danya Artimisi
–photos by Carrie Ogle
Blue October returned to their beloved city of St. Louis on Saturday night to a sold-out room of their dedicated fans from all over the country. The majestic Stifel Theatre presented with theater seating, as it was previously known as an opera house of varying names over the decades. However, the snug seating arrangement was no obstacle for ardent fans as they were on their feet from the band’s entrance until their final stage exit.
Blue October caught traction locally circa. 2006 when local legend and longstanding radio personality, Jeff Burton, convinced his station’s program director to add their breakout hit, “Hate Me”, to their rotation. Fortunately for everyone, he agreed, and the rest is history.
Opening act, VEERS, warmed up the crowd with a melodic and symphonic 25-minute set, to which the crowd still parading in seemed to have taken a liking. VEERS released their debut album Universe Reversal in September of 2022. The band is scheduled to accompany Blue October throughout the remainder of their 2023 tour run.
The anticipation for the start of the headliner was nearly palpable when the lights went down and 105.7 The Point’s personality, Liv, appeared on stage to introduce the band. As expected, the radio talent thanked fans for coming out to one of the station’s many annual “Ho Ho Shows” before paying homage to the late Jeff Burton; even having the crowd chant “Jeff Burton Forever.”
Blue October commenced the show in consistent fashion with an ominous start and steady build up to the apex during “The Kitchen Drawer”. After a brief acknowledgement to the fans, the band busted into an even deeper-meaning and aptly placed number in the set list; “This Is What I Live For”. From then on, the band delivered yet another energy-brimming peak performance.
Band lead, Justin Furstenfeld, shared amusing commentary as well as emotional and uplifting stories of overcoming addiction and ultimately, survival. Fans relate to their music and messages while holding onto every word as they guide them in their own journeys through darkness.
Highlights of the show included an acoustic performance of “Calling You” and their 2020 Christmas Eve release of “The Girl Who Stole My Heart”. Crowd-favorite, heavy hitters were saved for the encore, serving as the ultimate finale of the evening. (See setlist below.)
Blue October Setlist:
- The Kitchen Drawer
- This Is What I Live For
- Say It
- Oh My My
- Into the Ocean
- Calling You (acoustic)
- Hate Me
- Spinning the Truth Around
- Don’t Say It Wasn’t Love
- Where Did You Go I’m Less of a Mess These Days
- Shut up I Want You to Love Me Back
- Down Here Waiting
- Moving On (So Long)
- A Better Man
- The Girl Who Stole My Heart
- Italian Radio
- I Hope You’re Happy
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