An Evening With Justin Furstenfeld 

I just had the most amazing evening. Every so often something happens in your life that will simply touch you in ways you cannot imagine. It doesn’t have to be a grand spectacle. Sometimes it is just something that you would never dream would make a difference in your life. But these are the moments that can make a huge impact. So what was it? Well, you see I am a tremendous music lover. I attend many concerts. Some may say I attend way too many concerts (see Rock On!). But I love music, and I love feeling an artist’s work the way they intended for you to hear it; raw and full of emotion.

For a few years now, I have been a fan of the band Blue October. I have had the privilege of seeing them a couple of times in concert here in Nashville. Each time they played in small venues, so the experience was much more up close and personal than most concerts. When I saw that the lead singer of the band, Justin Furstenfeld, was coming to Nashville again with an “open book tour” called An Evening with Justin Furstenfeld, I quickly acted to make sure I got tickets (especially since this was going  to take place in a very limited seating venue).

As always with his performances, Justin did not disappoint. More than that, he exceeded any and all expectations I could ever have had for any concert…ever. You see, he has written songs for his band Blue October from some very high points in his life and some very low points in his life. In my opinion, his songs have touched every facet of human emotion out there. It doesn’t matter how happy I am, how sad I am, how angry I am, or even how emotional I am; no matter where I am emotionally at any given time, Justin has written a song that fits my emotional state. I believe Justin Furstenfeld is one of the most talented song writers of this generation. While Blue October’s music may not appeal to everyone, they are sure to have at least one album that you may like. Regardless of that, the show he put on tonight would probably help anyone truly understand why I feel this way about his artistic abilities. As the performance was so appropriately titled , I truly felt that I spent an evening with Justin Furstenfeld.

The show consisted of just Justin on the stage with his guitar. Here he opened up about his most intimate thoughts and experiences that shaped his songs. Songs that had already captured me emotionally now had a deeper meaning for me. I felt like I was there when they were written. I knew the thought process that went into their development, and even more intimately, I deeply felt every high and low that created those songs. I laughed at some of his stories. I cried more than is probably normal for many more. I truly felt like I got to emotionally live his joy and his pain through his music. And did I mention his talented singing ability? I cannot put into words the talent this man posseses when it comes to his vocal abilities. He did not need music to drown out his voice to cover any flaws, for there were none. At one point he even sang, without any music whatsoever, one of their harder rock songs (Bleed Out) flawlessly.

I have had many ups and downs in my life and when I look at my life compared to this man’s, my difficult times don’t compare in any form to what he went through. I was low enough to be on Prozac at one point, and I had enough love and support to help me get off it. I still have panic attacks, anxiety and moments where I know I can go back to a dark place at any moment. When I hear Justin’s lyrics, I know I can get through more than I think I can. I applaud and cheer for this man’s tremendous determination at defeating his demons and facing life head on one step at a time.  (Fear)

After the show, Justin held a meet and greet and merchandise signing. I debated saying something to him about how his songs have touched my life, and almost chickened out. But when I got up to him, I told him exactly how I felt. I opened up to him and confessed that no matter where I had been in life, he had written a song that has fit it. Now I didn’t feel any more special than any other person there, I just felt truly in touch with his words. However, the response I got from him by telling him this blew me away. He stopped and focused directly on me and gave me the most sincere thank you and God bless you I think I have ever received in my life. He shook my hand and I truly felt a gratitude like none other.

No, this was no ordinary show; and Justin Furstenfeld is no ordinary singer/songwriter. He is real. Good or bad, he has shared it all. From amazing highs to his most dark hours. And I feel privileged to have shared such an emotionally intimate moment with him. I am truly grateful.  (Home)



Blue October

I am a fan of the band Blue October and recently saw them in concert.  It was a fabulous concert and one I won’t soon be forgetting.  For a while now, I have been rolling their song titles (and songs) around in my head, because I absolutely love their play on words.  I am happy to call several of these songs “my favorites” if you will allow me to have more than one!  Today I finally took those song titles and used them in a little of my own art, my poetry.  I previously wrote Hate Me after being inspired by their song of the same name.  I hope the band doesn’t mind, and I hope you will enjoy a little of my poetry.  Note:  The words in blue are the song titles.

Blue October

Rock On!

MusicI love music.  More than love….music speaks to my soul.  It should be to no surprise then that I love to attend concerts.  There is just something that makes you feel so alive  when you feel the music vibrate through your entire being, bonding with thousands of other fans, complete strangers, through an invisible web of notes and lyrics.  We can all share in the life and beauty of music.  Music gives us words when words fail to express how we feel.  Whether it transforms us emotionally, or physically through dance, it is very spiritual. YES – EVEN ROCK AND ROLL CAN BE SPIRITUAL.

In a recent discussion with a friend about concerts we have each attended, I started to think about just how many I have been to.  I still have a good majority of my tickets, although  some have been lost over time.  So, just for fun I used my ticket stubs, photo albums, etc., to compile this list of concerts I have attended.  I have included as much information as I could. 

I have since continued to keep the list up to date as I purchase new tickets and attend shows.  One thing is for sure, they don’t call Nashville Music City for nothing!  As the shows keep rolling in, I can’t seem to keep up!  I love this town!

Music 3



Headliner Guests Date Venue Location
Bon Jovi Cinderella 3/20/1987 Cincinnati Gardens Cincinnati, OH
Motley Crue Whitesnake 7/23/1987 Cincinnati Gardens Cincinnati, OH
Def Leppard Tesla 10/20/1987 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
KISS Chastain 12/31/1987 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Aerosmith White Lion 5/2/1988 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Scorpions Kingdom Come 9/21/1988 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Jimmy Page Rock City Angels 10/21/1988 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Ratt Britny Fox, Kix 2/7/1989 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Bon Jovi Skid Row 10/4/1989 Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati, OH
L.A. Guns Tora Tora, Dangerous Toys, Kix 10/28/1989 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Great White Tesla 11/3/1989 Cincinnati Gardens Cincinnati, OH
Jeff Beck Stevie Ray Vaughn 11/15/1989 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Motley Crue Warrant 11/26/1989 Riverfront Coliseum Cincinnati, OH
Lenny Kravitz Tracy Chapman 3/20/1990 Bogarts Cincinnati, OH
Joe Satriani Stevie Salas Colorcode 3/21/1990 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Farm Aid IV Various 4/7/1990 The Hoosier Dome Indianapolis, IN
KISS Slaughter, Danger Danger 6/7/1990 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Dio Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force 8/10/1990 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
The Black Crowes The Four Horseman 11/13/1990 Bogarts Cincinnati, OH
Bullet Boys 3/28/1991 Unknown Dayton, OH
Jane’s Addiction Rollins Band 5/14/1991 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Queensryche 6/4/1991 Hara Arena Dayton, OH
Blues Traveler Widespread Panic 9/10/1991 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
Sound Garden 11/9/1991 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
KISS The Hunger 9/7/1996 McNichol’s Arena Denver, CO
KISS Skid Row 5/13/2000 Polaris Columbus, OH
KISS Skid Row 9/29/2000 Nationwide Arena Columbus, OH
John Mellencamp Donovan 3/23/2005 Civic Center Savannah, GA
Buckcherry Avenged Sevenfold, Papa Roach, Burn Halo 3/30/2009 Sommet Center Nashville, TN
KISS Buckcherry 10/25/2009 Sommet Center Nashville, TN
Taylor Swift Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Andy Grammar 9/17/2011 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Eric Church Alan Jackson, Eric Paslay, Jon Pardi 9/21/2011 Capitol Street Party Nashville, TN
Van Halen Kool & the Gang 4/27/2012 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Luke Bryan NA 5/22/2012 Private VIP Party Nashville, TN
Roger Waters NA 6/19/2012 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Buckcherry My Darkest Days 8/28/2012 12th & Porter Nashville, TN
KISS Motley Crue 9/4/2012 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Luke Bryan Jon Pardi 10/17/2012 Capitol Street Party Nashville, TN
Iron Maiden Megadeth 9/5/2013 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Kiss Def Leppard 7/16/2014 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Journey Joan Jett & the Blackhearts 9/12/2014 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Motley Crue Alice Cooper 10/15/2014 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
The Black Keys St. Vincent 12/8/2014 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Styx NA 2/19/2015 Schermerhorn Symphony Nashville, TN
Godsmack Hellyeah 4/29/2015 War Memorial Nashville, TN
The Who Joan Jett & the Blackhearts 5/11/2015 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Blue October Harvard of the South, Ashleigh Stone 5/13/2015 Exit/In Nashville, TN
Martina McBride 7/4/2015 Nashville July 4th Show Nashville, TN
Train The Fray 7/10/2015 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Deep Purple Simo 8/2/2015 The Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
Def Leppard Styx, Tesla 8/18/2015 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Billy Idol The London Souls 9/18/2015 The Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
Shinedown Breaking Benjamin 11/13/2015 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Jamey Johnson 2/26/2016 George Jones Museum Nashville, TN
Mumford & Sons Blake Mills 4/15/2016 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Alice Cooper NA 5/2/2016 TPAC Nashville, TN
Disturbed Rob Zombie 5/7/2016 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Shinedown Halestorm 8/4/2016 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Goo Goo Dolls Collective Soul, Tribe Society 8/5/2016 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Heart Cheap Trick & Joan Jett 9/19/2016 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Blue October Danny Malone 10/21/2016 The Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN
Stevie Nicks Pretenders 11/7/2016 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
The Fray American Authors 11/12/2016 War Memorial Nashville, TN
Five Finger Death Punch Shinedown, Sixx:AM, As Lions 11/21/2016 The Huntington Center Toledo, OH
Keith Urban Styx, A Thousand Horses 12/31/2016 Bicentennial Park Nashville, TN
Dierks Bentley Cole Swindell, Jon Pardi 1/21/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Justin Furstenfeld NA 2/10/2016 City Winery Nashville, TN
Bon Jovi Jake Johnson 2/18/2016 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Twenty One Pilots Jon Bellion, Judah and the Lion 2/24/2017 Legacy Arena Birmingham, AL
The Flaming Lips Clipping 3/29/2017 War Memorial Nashville, TN
Neil Diamond NA 4/19/2016 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Joe Walsh 4/25/2016 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Def Leppard Tesla, Poison 4/27/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Breaking Benjamin Red 5/9/2017 War Memorial Nashville, TN
Daryl Hall & John Oates Tears for Fears 5/24/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Iron Maiden Ghost 6/13/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Chris Young Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 7/4/2017 Nashville July 4th Show Nashville, TN
Ted Nugent Tom Fuller 7/19/2017 The Ryman Auditorium Nashville, TN
Goo Goo Dolls Phillip Phillips 7/31/2017 Ascend Amphitheater Nashville, TN
Matchbox Twenty Rivers & Rust Counting Crows 8/12/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Roger Waters NA 8/13/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Blue October Missio 11/9/2017 Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN
Guns N Roses NA 11/13/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Shinedown TBA 12/11/2017 Cannery Ballroom Nashville, TN
Garth Brooks TBA 12/23/2017 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
Foo Fighters TBA 5/4/2018 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN