Review: Blue October light up Royal Oak
Tracy Heck

Saturday night found Blue October bringing their Heart Go Bang Tour to the Royal Oak Music Theatre. Although the band is known for their moody, emotional music, their intense live shows are full of energy and light.

Saturday's show found the band radiating positive energy in a almost two-hour set that hit on songs that ranged from early in their career up to their latest release Home, including the tour's namesake, a powerful track about being grateful for the love in your life. Alongside the powerful music was a mesmerizing light show.

Vocalist Justin Furstenfeld is a natural frontman who connects deeply with his audience. Most of the band's music draws heavily on his own battles with mental illness and addiction and the raw honesty in the lyrics draws admiration from the fans and gives them hope for their own daily struggles.

Throughout the evening, Furstenfeld spoke and joked with the crowd as he reached out and touched hands, encouraged them to sing along and even went down to sing with them for a bit.

Blue October took to the stage with a a couple of newer tracks in "Coal Makes Diamonds" and the crowd sing-along "I Want It" before heading into their hit "Say It".

As the evening flowed on, the band would pull out new favorites like "Home" and old favorites like "Sway" and "Into The Ocean", which featured a riveting spoken intro from Furstenfeld.

After the band departed the stage, Furstenfeld and violinist Ryan Delahoussaye returned to kick off a five-song encore with "Clumsy Card House", which was followed by Furstenfeld inviting his brother, drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld to come out and join him on vocals for "We Know Where You Go", the song he wrote about what he has meant to him.

The rest of the band then returned for the impressive "Fear" and the band's signature track "Hate Me", which was proceeded by a funny story from Furstenfeld regarding recently getting a tattoo from a artist who realized who he was and started praising the song. He shared that although at first the tattooist's fanboy-ing was a bit much, he began to appreciate the impression the song had made on him as a teen.

The band then took a moment to allow their guitar tech to come out and play a drum solo for his birthday before closing things out with the heavy-hitting "Italian Radio".