Blue October, Kitten: I Hope You’re Happy Tour 10/04/2018

Blue October, Kitten
I Hope You’re Happy Tour
Omaha, Nebraska
Sokol Auditorium
October 4th, 2018

It wouldn’t feel like the month of October without a Blue October concert, and it wouldn’t a Blue October concert in Omaha without a sold out crowd. There’s always a heightened level of excitement when the band rolls through Nebraska.
Kitten, joining Blue October on the I Hope You’re Happy Tour, stormed into Omaha for their first performance in town. Sokol Auditorium’s crowd welcomed the Los Angeles based indie rock band with open arms. I don’t think any of us were expecting Kitten to put on such an incredibly high energy show. Vocalist and founder Chloe Chaidez bounced around the stage like she was performing a Gold Medal sequence at the Olympics. Focusing their setlist on tracks from their upcoming release, Pink Champagne, this seems to be a new era for the band and Omaha absolutely loved it. Even though only a few in the crowd were familiar with Kitten’s music, Sokol was packed with fans bouncing around and dancing to the band’s stylistic sound. Fans unfamiliar with Kitten’s original tracks were given the chance to sing-along with the band during their covers of New Radical’s “You Get What You Give” and Gwen Stefani’s “Cool”. Chaidez even took the stage antics a step further by climbing up the speakers and onto the balcony during the band’s final song, “I Did It” and the dove off the balcony into the outstretched arms below. Kitten did an amazing job setting the bar and hyping over a thousand fans for tonight’s headliner.
If memory serves me, tonight’s show would be the band’s 21st time playing the Omaha metro area since their 2006 debut, and my lucky 13th time seeing the band live since 2004. Touring in support of their 9th studio release, I Hope You’re Happy, the band’s set focused on their new material.
The band’s live performances have always been a high energy, emotional roller coaster but there was a certain sense of urgency with tonight’s set.  While a lot of musicians write in 3rd person, finding their inspiration from the world around them, Furstenfeld’s music comes from his own personal experiences and dealing with depression, suicide, and addictions. They’re subjects that most of their fans can relate too and have had to deal with themselves. But the band isn’t all depressing doom and gloom. The band’s latest album has a deeper meaning, and vocalist Justin Furstenfeld addressed the crowd several times to remind us all to “just be happy.” Elaborating before “I’ll Do Me, You Do You”, Furstenfeld told the crowd to “find the positive people in your life. Hold them close but hold them accountable,” and to basically cut out the negative people in our lives. It’s a powerful message from a man who’s been burned before.
For nearly two hours, Blue October reminded us all how much they’ve evolved as musicians over the past two decades. The band has mastered the art of melding several genres into their unique sound. Tonight’s performance would also be one of the few times the band has played “Clumsy Card House” and “Independently Happy” during this tour, two of my favorite tracks.
For so many of us, Blue October has been our go-to band. The band who’s music we turn to when times are tough, or when we need to hear the voice of someone who we feel can relate to our problems and issues. Their live show gives us the chance to show our support and appreciation to these men and, from the look of excitement and elation on their faces, the guys realize how much they mean to us.

Kitten setlist:
Pink Champagne (includes Blu solo)
You Get What You Give (New Radicals)
Strange Embrace
Cool (Gwen Stefani)
I Did It

Blue October setlist:
To Be (intro)
The Chills
I Want It
Independently Happy
Into the Ocean
I’ll Do Me, You Do You
Calling You
Clumsy Card House
We Know Where You Go
Coal Makes Diamonds
Colors Collide
Italian Radio
Leave It In The Dressing Room (Shake It Up)
Hate Me
The Worry List
How to Dance in Time
I Want to Come Back Home
I Hope You’re Happy