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Blue October kicked off the annual series of Ho-Ho Shows put on by 105.7 The Point this past weekend at The Pageant in the loop. The Texas based rockers brought their "SWAY" tour to St. Louis in support of their latest release by the same name and they delivered as they always seem to do.  A strong and boisterous crowd braved a cold, snowy evening for a night of rock and emotion that only Blue October can deliver. Some fans even were in line 4 hours before the doors opened. A very telling tribute to what this band and their live show mean.

As the clock ticked to 9pm sharp, the lights went black and the soaring instrumental sound of "To Be" rolled over The Pageant as the band made their triumphant return to stage much to the delight of the 1500 or so fans in attendance. Inegmatic Blue October front man Justin Furstenfeld sauntered on to the stage to a large ovation before the band rolled into a hammering version of "Sway", the title track to their 2013 release that set a perfect tone for the night that didn't waiver for the 1 hour and 45 minute set. A simple walking intro led the band into "She's My Ride Home" next as Furstenfeld's voice firecly ripped through each line with passion as he prowled every inch of the stage.


Blue reached back in their catalog next as old school fans were delighted to hear the growling roars of "HRSA" off the 2000 release 'Consent to Treatment' as the pit of dedicated Blue fans swirled and shouted the chorus back to the stage note-for-note. The hip-hop flavor of the new song "Light You Up" was surely an early set highlight as guitarist CB Hudson delivered a great solo that complimented the huge wall of sound as Furstenfeld's voice echoed throughout every inch of the venue with power.

With a catalog as expansive as Blue October's, it is hard to find a balance in the setlist that can please all of their fans but they did manage to find a near perfect mix of old and new to please everyone on this night. Furstenfeld addressed the crowd at one point, "We've been coming here for a really long time and we are more than grateful for all your support over the years" before the band absolutely slayed old Blue favorites "Chameleon Boy" and "Calling You" that were surely highlights of the early set.

One of the largest singalongs of the evening was up next as the upbeat Blue October hit "Into The Ocean" rolled through while the crowd shouted every word back at the stage at the top of their lungs in one of the moments of the night. The sexy and mysterious sound of "Fear" was up next as Furstenfeld's vocals seemed to step up another level before absolutely exploding into the breakdown highlighted by drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld's drumming and an electric solo from guitarist CB Hudson. A perfect intro from virtuoso Ryan Delahoussaye led the band into a growling take on a track from the new album called "Debris" that was played with near effortless perfection.

Huge energy was the rule next as a run of "X Amount of Words" and the newest Blue single "Bleed Out" rolled over The Pageant like a freight train as the band really seemed to find their stride in the shows later stages. With The Pageant a sea of red lights, Furstenfeld sat at the front of the stage growling the chorus of the new single as he howled "I finally feel like I'm supposed to be" in a moment that you could feel resonate within the walls of the venue. With the well documented turmoil that Furstenfeld has overcome the past year, it seems that he was not only singing these words...he was living them. The band closed out the main set with a great take on their most popular tune, "Hate Me" next as the crowd sang along note for note before the band waved and left the stage a perfect mess of rock...as they always tend to do.

The band returned shortly after for a near perfect encore including "The Worry List" and a explosive take on the crunchy, brooding song "Things We Do At Night" that gave Furstenfeld's vocals one final chance to shine. With that, the band wrapped up their set and left the stage to an ovation fit for a king.

With a perfect mix of old classics and new favorites and more than enough energy to spare, it is always great to see a band at the top of their game perform and that is exactly where Blue October is at right now. Check them out when you get a chance, you will most certainly walk out with your ears ringing and a smile on your face. Just as it should be after any good rock show.

Kansas City indy rock outfit 'The Architects' opened the show with a spirited 30 minute set. Also, insideSTL had a chance to sit down with Blue October frontman Justin Furstenfeld for a video interview, keep an eye out for it later this week here on insideSTL.com.

The Point Ho-Ho Shows continue Tuesday night with Alt-J and Grouplove performing a sold out show at The Pageant.

RELATED:
VIDEO INTERVIEW: Justin Furstenfeld from Blue October
REVIEW: Open Book - An Evening with Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October
REVIEW: Staind & Blue October @ The Pageant
REVIEW & VIDEO INTERVIEW: Blue October @ The Pageant
ALBUM REVIEW: 'Any Man In America' by Blue October
REVIEW: Blue October @ The Pageant

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Check out past interviews and show reviews in the archive by clicking 
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