Blue October’s Justin Furstenfeld Announces Routing For ‘Open Book Tour’ Through Texas

Justin Furstenfeld
Courtesy of Blue October
– Justin Furstenfeld

Blue October frontman Justin Furstenfeld is gearing up to hit the road for his first tour in more than a year since the pandemic halted in-person events. He’s just unveiled the itinerary for a seven-date, “CDC-compliant” tour through his home state of Texas, featuring gigs that are outdoor, socially distanced and with limited capacity.

The tour kicks off March 12-13 with two shows at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall, followed by a March 14 show at Corpus Christi’s Brewster Street. In April he’s set to play Plano, Austin and New Braunfels.    Tickets went on sale today at
“We haven’t toured in 15 months.  At some point, we have to try to reconnect,” Furstenfeld said in a statement.  “I have been missing you all so much and can’t wait to see you. Each of these venues have gone to great lengths to ensure everyone’s safety.”
Most artists are holding off on announcing rescheduled tour dates while we continue waiting for the vaccine rollout and COVID case numbers to decline, but some bands and musicians are finding safe ways to return to the stage on a limited scale. Miranda Lambert recently booked a run of gigs at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, April 22-24 and May 1-2 with reduced capacity and The Allman Betts Band just completed a late two-week socially distanced/limited-capacity tour in late January and February with stops in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Ohio. 
And, of course, there’s the Flaming Lips’ “Space Bubble Concerts” in Oklahoma City, featuring the band members and audience members in plastic hamster ball-like bubbles. After debuting its first COVID-safe bubble concerts Jan. 23-24 at the 3,500-capacity Criterion featuring a reduced-capacity audience of 100 fans, the Flaming Lips will return to the venue for a run of shows March 11-14 and March 19-21.
Furstenfeld’s upcoming shows will featured open-air venues with distanced tables, temperature checks and mandatory, enforced masks. Some venues will sell tickets for isolated pods that hold up to six people. He’ll be joined on the road by a two-person skeleton crew. The setlist will be sure to include tunes from Blue October’s tenth studio album, This Is What I Live For, which was released in October. He describes the LP as “the most romantic, sad, cold, dark, hopeful and dreamy rock album that we’ve ever produced.”  
The “Open Book” performances first began in 2013 as a Hotel Café residency in Los Angeles while Furstenfeld was on break from touring with Blue October and expanded into theatre performances across the country. The intimate shows have given Furstenfeld a chance to connect with his fans with storytelling and songs. 
“From now and until the show is over, every effort will be made to protect the artist, crew and patrons in accordance with all CDC guidelines,” Nick Storch, Blue October’s agent at Artist Group International, said in a statement. “Furthermore, we will constantly monitor the situation for any changes in protocol to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Health and safety are of paramount concern for Blue October and their team.” 
Box office reports for Blue October submitted to Pollstar include an Oct. 24, 2019 show at First Avenue in Minneapolis that sold 1,140 tickets and grossed $31,490. The most recent report submitted for Furstenfeld is a Sept. 7, 2019 show at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Okla., that sold 765 tickets and grossed $22,655.
Open Book Tour 2021 routing: 
March 12-13: Houston, Texas, White Oak Music Hall
March 14: Corpus Christi, Texas, Brewster Street
April 14-15: Plano, Texas, Legacy Hall
April 16: Austin, Texas, Haute Spot
April 23: New Braunfels, Texas, Whitewater Amphitheater