TVD Live Shots: Blue October with Beatnik Bandits at the House of Blues, 11/3

Please don’t hate me, but I left my 18th floor balcony and dove into the ocean prior to Blue October’s near sell out at the Anaheim House of Blues on Thursday night. Joined by Beatnik Bandits, congratulations were definitely in order as Justin and company had the place feeling like home throughout an incredible 21-song set—and oh my my was it a special one. I hope you’re happy with the review and photos, and dare I say it, this is what I live for.

I’ve seen Blue October countless times over the years, and I can honestly say that each and every show is a unique and special experience for me. From killer merch tables to beautifully curated setlists, fans always walk away smiling when they see the band live. Add special VIP meet and greets (which typically include a killer soundcheck experience), and their shows rocket to a whole new level. Thursday’s show in Anaheim was no different as fans from all over the country gathered to rock out to one of the premier live acts on the planet.

Kicking off the festivities at the House of Blues was none other than Texas’ very own, Beatnik Bandits. While I can honestly say I’ve never heard of this band before, I became an instant fan after their opening set on Thursday. Some might describe their unique brand of music as “folksy” or “Americana,” but to me their sound was 100% kickass, take no prisoners rock and roll. Christian Sparks and company exploded a powder keg in front of Blue October’s faithful, and in return gained a ton of new fans and immediate respect during their abbreviated opening set. Catch these cats live when you can—they’re definitely on the rise and a band that needs to be on your radar if they are not already.

Now on to our main attraction, Blue October. Hailing from Houston, the band’s current lineup consists of Justin Furstenfeld (vocals/guitar), Jeremy Furstenfeld (drums), Ryan Delahoussaye (violin/mandolin), Matt Noveskey (bass), and Will Knaak (lead guitar). As lights dimmed in Anaheim, fans erupted as the band took center stage and kicked off the show with a new track off 2022’s Spinning the Truth Around, “The Kitchen Drawer.” Front-row fanatics ate it up as the band quickly transitioned to a few 2020 tracks including “The Way I Used to Love You,” and “This is What I Live For.”

Over the next few hours, the audience was treated to a massive set of Blue October’s finest including new hits, classic jams, and a few B-sides. Fans I spoke with felt “Oh My My,” “Into the Ocean,” and “Congratulations” were top of class on Thursday night. My personal preferences were “Hate Me,” “Sway,” and the final encore, “I Hope You’re Happy.” For me, these songs seemed to drum up the most energy (and honestly ones I most closely relate to). Regardless of one’s proclivities, there was something for everyone. Blue October’s performance definitely stood out as one of the best I’ve seen in 2022 and highlights why this band is so special.


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