Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Blue October ("They treated us well.")

AWESOME show!   :)   Great music, great stage presence and dramatic skills (not overdone or "fake,") enough light show stuff to make the atmosphere but not detract from the musicians and music.   Wow.   Not even clear that M realizes how good of a show she just attended.  

An online friend/reader e-mailed me a nice comment last night, to which I responded (mostly) as the following (hence I suppose, my summary):

She's been asleep for a long time now, and I'm unwinding.    She is a good kid and I'm glad that this was actually a smoke-free, incident-free, non-explicit, sparingly albeit well used swear words, good "real" rock (with a touch of violin) show that I could share with her.   More my thing than hers, but she loves music and live shows.  Very excited she won the tickets. 

It was awesome.  The band REALLY nice "boys."  Who are trying to be positive, turn the bad into positive and not stay in the bad place, making that choice, to quote the gist of what Justin explained at the sound check when asked about the bands name.   The popular Into the Ocean IS about finding that reason to hold on, swim into shore once jumped from the bow of the ship and it's too far away now, that lifeline, "and tonight, you (audience) is mine.")
adding: At the show itself, Justin started out with the "story" explaining Into the Ocean, and the music almost seemed too pop comparatively at first, and yet, it so fit, it was right, and fun, and yes I believe everything was singing to that one, upbeat and enjoying themselves. 

Of course, Hate Me was the final final song.   Justin paused at one point, held the microphone out to the crowd, "For any of you who have been hurt.   For any of you who have done the hurting.   Sing with me........."   I don't need that particular type of catharsis right now in my life, but wow, I can see how it was or would have been for him and many who sang along.  Not that I didn't also sing, cuz hey:)
Many of there songs are romantic, too, really, soul baring, soul wrenching, etc.
Good show.   I'm tired lol.

I still wouldn't let her buy a t-shirt with "hate me" on it, as it could be so misunderstood by others.   She liked another one, though:)   I got one for myself with a quote from "She's my ride home" on it, about reaching for the stars.

Later, I rechecked in on M, giving her another kiss goodnight, another pull of blankets extra snug around her.   Getting under my covers, Daisy jumped on top, and Billy raced to jump underneath where he likes to go lately.   I thought more of the song, Hate Me.  I understand the concept of it.  Even the various nuances of the concept of it.   He's singing out that he wants the woman (his mother is implied) to hate him so that she can do what's right for HER, not be dysfunctionally enabling, etc.

Yet, I also think of Dougie, possibly feeling unlovable, as if he should be hated.   His coworker, at Dougie's viewing or sometime those few days, told me that he'd see Dougie show up at work several times all black and blue, swollen places and gosh, Dougie had a special bone disease that makes them break readily, too.   He wasn't perfect by any stretch, but he was worthy of real love.   True, non-abusing love, and yes, men can be victims of domestic abuse, also.   Those who feel unlovable, perhaps if Dougie felt that way, as if we'd be better off without him (which is so not true yet I know some get so depressed that they start to believe that), I want to just erase the idea of hating him, just erase the idea of hateful feelings away, his self-hatred included, remind him you are LOVED, Dougie, remind others, you were and are always so loved.  So deserving of love, also.

I give Blue October credit for being so soul and heart baring, so open about these struggles.   And the moving forward bit, too:)  None of them are stuck in that black hole space, at least what I can tell, but acknowledging that some are.   That can take guts, and can be useful for others to hear.

Army of Me opened for Blue October.  The lead singer acknowledged Blue October, saying that, "They've treated us well."  Among other things.  Yes, I do agree, to the 17 of us at the sound check, and to the fans when on stage, also.

Our "opening" events were hours before Army of Me.   Nicely the soundcheck was pushed back about 15 minutes.   The parking lot used for the shows doesn't usually open until evening and after the University permit holders are gone.   I hadn't wished to risk missing the last Metro train home, I preferred to have M be able to change enroute down and sleep enroute home.  And, Metro cost more with that Stupidcard (aka SmartCard) and fare charges.   Fine drive, luckily found a great spot, and got to save $10. which would have been the parking fee.   This isn't the same spot in DC this venue used to be in ages ago when I was in college and saw, hmmm, someone good lol, a college friend had tickets and asked me to join him.   The only "sign" was on a trash can, in front of a large blue bus that was Blue October's bus, and a different shade of blue on the outside walls of the venue.   I saw two people sitting on stools near doors, the directions fit.  Cool:)  (Army of Me was about, also, offloading from a white bus and inside the room where we were.)

To read a better-written review than mine is:) go to:  Blue October concert at the 930 Club in Washington DC last night - Washington D.C. Metro Rider

I picked up our "will call" tickets.  Two radio stations had given them out.   DC101 had Army of Men interviewed yesterday a.m. and gave out tickets to the show.   Mix 107.3 had Blue October interviewed yesterday a.m. and gave out tickets to the show AND the soundcheck party.   I like both stations, and others, but M prefers more pop than rock, oftentimes, so we are more likely to have on Mix 107.3 if not playing cd's.  Mix 107.3 and Cindy Maguire was on when I thought I was calling in for Goo Goo Dolls tickets and M got through and wow, "I love Blue October!" was what my happily surprised self ended up saying on air, lol.

I counted 17 of us guests inside for the sound check "party."   Perhaps there were 19 or 20, or that was the intent.   Small and cozy, except we were strangers and a bit awkward at that point, only some chatting with others.   We'd been chatting occasionally with a couple from southern Maryland, who are apparently older than me.   For our purposes, as it seemed Blue October had been fiddling around a bit already with their equipment, Blue October started off playing just the music from "She's My Ride Home."   I really like that song.   Beautifully done.  They played a few other songs as well, of course, such as bits of X Amount of Words (played fully for the show, the one song of theirs M really does not care for).   Their sound check songs includedone M and I both liked that I"m guessing is called "Chameleon Boy" from an earlier cd than Foiled.   They did not play "Chameleon Boy" later in their official set.  

M wanted to sit down, yet no seats.   She had plenty of room to sit on the floor, then, but declined.   That and occasionally not getting a good view was her only real complaint; standing the entire time was tiring, and it did bother her.   Yet, no smoking!, yeah DC laws for that effective this month, no hassles.  The crowd was real nice, too.

Nice guys, all came down, seemingly eager to converse with us.  Or, eager to be done with conversing with us and hence wanted to get it started and over with:)   Representative Alissa, whose cell phone we were given "good that day only" yeah right, but I won't misuse it, had checked us off upon entry, and given us a poster per person.  She carried Sharpies on her, and the guys each assumed they'd be signing every poster.  They took a few moments to chat with each person who wished for it, posed for photos I'm eager to get developed.   I'd read on their website that they allow recording of their shows, if not used for commercial gain and other legitimate caveats, a bit reminiscent of The Grateful Dead to me just more wise legally speaking.  I figured a camera would be alright, and it was, just not while they did their "sound check."   Fine by me! 

(I had my copy of their latest cd in my coat pocket but spaced about getting that signed.  They also sold their cd's there for only $15. each! yet I didn't dare risk our spot on the floor later on oh well.)

Jeremy (the drummer) was talking with another "couple" about the other band, a UK band, called Blue October.  Oh.  I'd wondered after happening upon their website.   He confirmed, just go to  Okay, got it:) 

Jeremy and Justin are brothers.   Justin is the lead vocalist and has a natural flare for drama it seems, and one of the prime lyrics writers.  (He said for "Drilled a Wire Through My Cheek" that he didn't know where that song came from, just sitting in a hotel room.)   Justin said at one point last night at the show, "I'm having a blast."  It seemed as if they all were. 

He thought he was without eyeliner during the sound check (I was thinking mentally, hmmm, I have purple with me....... and brown.  He'd have wanted black, and seems he found some before the show.)  He said he'd try to keep the swear words down for the show, looking and smiling at M, and I told him that I knew they were few, and when used, were used well which he seemed to appreciate that notice.   And explained the bands name, which I mention above I think......

"Ryan's 33," M says, "I did the math."   He plays the violin and mandolin, adding that richer sound and touch to the Blue October songs.   Ryan said he started playing at age 4 years old, per his mother, carrying one instrument in each arm.  He told M to not stop her dancing as it could take her around the world.  Later, Ryan told someone else he's been playing violin for 27 years now and is still learning new things.  

Matt plays bass and CB plays guitar, both nice looking boys and courteous, nice acting boys, too.  They and Jeremy can really get going and wail it / rocking hard and good.   Or, the softer sentimental open heart-type songs.  

18th Floor Balcony is one of the songs Blue October played in one of their two encores.  I really like that song:)   Very open, tender treasure of a song talking about shared moments.   And, btw, nothing more explicit than "her head on my stomach" (while they tried not to fall asleep), and "she kissed me" which is done with more resolution than the simple statement would relay.  

I really really liked most of their other songs, from their previous cd's, too (all but one whose name I don't recall now).  Apparently one of the guys from the sound check asked Justin if they'd be playing Quiet Mind.  Ahhh, great lovely song, I'm glad it was requested.   I do need to check out their previous cd's now.

The songs off of Foiled that were played at the show itself include You Make me Smile (one of M's favorites, and I also like), She's My Ride Home, Into the Ocean, Hate Me, Overweight, X Amount of Words, Drilled a Wire Through my Cheek, Everlasting Friend which we were told was written approximatley 1998 just hadn't made it on an album previously, and 18th Floor Balcony.

Not played (from Foiled) which I would have enjoyed hearing was Congratulations, and Sound of Pulling Heaven Down.  I like both of those, more than X Amount of Words and Drilled, and even more than Overweight, but guess they didn't fit in.

A theme I learned with them is that the members of Blue October wish to, as Justin put it later on stage, be an equal member, be respectful, etc.   If I recall correctly, this was in preparation for the song, Overweight.  (Weight of the world type of thing, not physical overpoundage on a persons body.)  I'd not grasped fully the depth (or, the simplicity of the truth) of the concept behind that song when mixed in with all the others on the cd.   I wish the lyrics were on the cd itself, too:)   (That theme makes sense inregards to the song "Hate Me," also, in some ways, but that's a different paragraph, lol.)

Army of Me is a "local" band that the main Blue October rep, Alissa, mentioned had been found by Blue October while searching on the internet.  I can see why they were chosen.   AOM, as I see they refer to themselves as, has a musical style that fits well enough with Blue October, and a positive we can overcome sort of message.   Their song Rise is the best example of that.   AOM refers to themselves as alternative.   I'd say more alternative with an edge.  They are not only local, but really local, claiming a hometown that is one of mine, albeit graduating some 20 years later.   (We chatted with them real briefly after the whole show, before they joined some fans or friends in the downstairs bar and we headed out for home).   They'd said onstage how excited they were to be back home playing.)   M would comment on their lead singers vocals for each song.   She didn't like the vocals for the first song, but the second song she felt the vocals fit well with that song.   She even liked a song or two of theirs.  I did as well.  (Perfect and Rise I recall being better ones; the song about Wash. D.C. could be tweaked and improved, or it wasn't their best night?, good basis, though, with potential.)   They'll do alright, and I wished them well.  Even if Blue October blew them away, a possible likely fate for most bands:)

More on Army of Me on and Army Of Me, both of which apparently have a forum about their tour with Blue October.

M had fun:)   One of the venue staff spotted us later, and smiled at M and said, "Oh, you came back!"   I think M was mostly on the observant, tired but AWAKE tired, and legs a bit bugged, but she followed and watched, and commented.  She put in only one ear plug (I did relent and put in both of my ear plugs, sigh, my ears were actually hurting, and the beats could be felt even in my ribs).   She thought of wearing her shirt this morning, a long sleeved black one with glowing flowers on it, or at least glow in the darklights gosh I forget what they are called.  

There was a real range of ages at the show itself (including probably 1/4 to 1/3 or more under the age of 21, just harder to tell for certain as the older high schoolers and the 18-not quite 21-year olds look very similar to the other young adults there, only by the hand stamp can one truly verify, and yes, that was very enforced -- the 50-something guy from the couple from the soundcheck hadn't driven so left his license at home, nope, NO alcohol for him.)

My sweet child.   I'm glad she's still essentially sweet and innocent.  I'm glad that the show was a good one, nothing foul about it, and nothing disappointing about it.  Even if somehow, it feels to me as if she's that much older now for having gone.   Even had a nice dinner break, at Duffy's, good food at happy hour prices!, good beers available but I abstained, both of us downing Sprite's and overhearing conversations of others eager to see the band play, only a few of us having gone to the sound check party.   I think M liked that she was in a special few, not sure she wanted to be in photos but then quite willing to be in them when the time came.  

It was good to have some one on one time with her, too, her starting right away when she got into my truck and at dinner time, her only quiet during sound check, and then when the bands played as it got to hard to hear each other and she was watching and listening.   Her bowl for Empty Bowls charity worked out great this time, yeah, Topper Shutt looks hysterical in his sunglasses which M described, and M agrees she will "do" the dance recitals not the class play as we'd JUST gotten the dates for the class play which naturally are thee same dates.   M insists she'll never live in Washington, D.C.   I then ask her, even in the White House, to which she givesme a look.  Then says, "No." :)   She was assigned to watch the State of the Union last night, a first.   Too many had conflicts planned already, however, so she'll get a print out today about it to discuss another day.   I read her The Washington Post's headline this a.m. (about it), and some other tidbits of information in part to help her wake up hehe, along with the chai tea latte, and she heard a bit on the radio about it.   I let her make her own conclusions about him and other politics, and yet she does not like how he's run things and especially has never understood the war in Iraq bit.

May M not be TOO tired today for class today, and class photos.   I told her she could skip dance later if she wants, though.   Then again, she's rather eager to share with her musically-interested friends all about the band and the show.  :)

1 comment:

  1. LOVED your summary, and sounds like you both had a wonderful time:)