Emporium Presents and The Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
The Historic Bakersfield Fox Theater
$22.50 - $75.00 | $5.50 Increase DOS
“These songs should make you want to fall in love with somebody, or miss somebody, or want to
do something outrageous with your life,” says Justin Furstenfeld, vocalist and lyricist for the
unstoppable alt-rock band Blue October. He’s talking about the tracks on the quintet’s tenth
studio album, This Is What I Live For, recently released on October 23rd, 2020.
How does it feel to have a Top 10 single with “Oh My My,” your first Top 10 single since 2009?
“Honestly, I’m blown away. We started releasing our albums independently several years ago.
It’s good to see that it doesn’t matter what label you’re on. As long as you’re writing good songs
you have chance to be heard. Hopefully that inspires others.”
The San Marcos, Texas-based band (vocalist Justin Furstenfeld, multi-instrumentalist Ryan
Delahoussaye, guitarist Will Knaak, bassist Matt Noveskey, and drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld)
have earned a reputation for being remarkably dynamic, consistently delivering anthemic songs
filled with rousing melodies and precision playing. And with this latest release, The Is What I
Live, For the members are even more in synch than ever because they wrote much of the material
while they were on the road supporting their last album, 2018’s I Hope You’re Happy (Debuted
#1 on the Billboard Alternative Album Chart and #1 Billboard Independent Album Chart.), often fine-tuning songs in front of live audiences. In this way, the song “I Will Follow You” has already
become a favorite even before it was recorded for the new album.
“This album is going to catch some people off-guard,” Matt says. “A lot of it is about
interpersonal relationships – years and years of marriage, growing older, and some of the issues
that you may run into with that. I know that other albums are about that, but we get into some
corners of life that we haven’t explored before.”
This determination to always speak the truth, even if it’s difficult, is the way Blue October has
operated from the very start, since Justin, Jeremy and Ryan formed the band in 1995 when they
were still in high school. When Matt joined three years later, Blue October really coalesced as
the members found inspiration in bands like A Perfect Circle, Jimmy Eat World, Radiohead, and
The Cure – then reworked those disparate influences into an epic yet introspective sound that is
entirely their own.
Blue October members themselves have admitted in characteristically candid fashion, things
certainly haven’t always been easy. Their struggles over the years with substance abuse, and
their subsequent treatment and recovery, have been well-documented in their songs. They also
allowed themselves to be filmed over the course of seven tumultuous years for a documentary,
Get Back Up, which was released on May 21, 2020. The film takes an unwavering look at the
band – and Justin, in particular – as they grapple with the fallout from addiction and the resulting
damage done to their families, professional relationships, and each other. It is ultimately a
redemptive story, with all members now sober and mending their relationships, but not without
going over some harrowing ground first.
“We made it out the other side, and it was hard,” Matt says. “There were times where we weren’t
sure we would. But when you go through a lot together, you grow together, and you realize
what’s important. Then you realize, maybe there are things I’ve taken for granted over the years,
including each other. We’re not going to let that happen anymore.” Will, who joined the band
two years ago, agrees: “When a lifestyle change occurs, it filters in on all levels. Their positivity
feeds mine, and I think it’s been really serendipitous that we met at a good time in all of our
lives. I’m gaining a lot from their wisdom, and maybe they’re getting a little kick in the ass from
my fresh perspective.”
After struggling with being incorrectly categorized because there was no easy label to apply to a
group that is so musically powerful yet lyrically sensitive, it is particularly gratifying for the
members to finally gain recognition for being distinctive. “As much as people wanted to change
me into something else, I always said no,” Justin says. “I’m always a reality writer. I write
bluntly, for the people that want to talk about things that aren’t dinner conversation pieces.”
This unswerving belief in Blue October’s music and message – and fans’ unusually strong
connection as a result – has carried this band through many good and bad times.
Ages: All Ages