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)