Concert Review: Justin Furstenfeld at Beachland Ballroom

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When Blue October singer-guitarist Justin Furstenfeld decided to call his current tour “An Open Book,” he sure wasn’t kidding. Over the course of nearly two hours last night at the Beachland Ballroom, he delved into all the details from his past, confessing to cheating on his then-girlfriend with the woman who would become his wife and discussing his battles with drug addiction. The format suited him well and made for an engaging performance.

The concert started very formally as Furstenfeld’s roadie/handler came out and warned against heckling during the show. He was serious, too, as he regularly worked his way through the crowded room during the set to hush any one who spoke above a whisper. Fans were on their best behavior, however, and the ballroom grew hauntingly quiet as Furstenfeld arrived on stage and began reading from the book of lyrics he’s published. He started at the beginning, recounting how he quit his high school band after the other members’ parents called a meeting to discuss the content of his lyrics. “I decided right then that I would never let anyone tell me what I could and couldn’t say from the stage,” he said before playing an acoustic rendition of “Black Orchid,” the song that got him into so much trouble with his band mates. Though overwrought, the somber tune had a certain power when delivered in an acoustic format and Furstenfeld’s soaring vocals sounded sharp.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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