Review Summary: A beautiful live compilation of Blue October's best songs. You don't only hear the music, you can feel it. I wouldn't be shocked if Blue October found a way to have you taste the music, because its definitely sensational stuff.
In my opinion, seeing a band live is what makes any fan fall in love with their music. Those fortunate enough to see Blue October live at least once probably knows what I'm talking about. Argue With A Tree combines the best of what Furstenfeld's group has created over their first three albums and presents it live for anyone to hear. After being dropped by Universal and quite a little bit after History for Sale was released, Blue October decided to house a long concert in their home state, in front of the fans who knew them from the beginning. They start the album with a bang, featuring Amnesia, Independently Happy, HRSA, and Drop, all of which are very familiar to any Consent to Treatment fans. Furstenfeld and the rest of the band seem to have put every ounce of energy they have into their music, right from the beginning, as the loud guitars and screaming till the top of your lungs music doesn't slow down until Clumsy Card House (one of my favorites). You could easily listen to those first five tracks and think you have this band figured out, but they throw tracks like Blue Sunshine and A Quiet Mind at you and you have to think twice.
Their eclectic nature is what I absolutely love about this band, and they throw it all in on this melting pot of a live CD. They end the first disc on very somber note, singing Black Orchid. The second CD begins with the Furstenfeld brother's performing a duet of For My Brother, which sounds so much better live than it did on The Answers. (It was a great song on the CD too, which says a lot). My favorite live performance, comes on the second track, with Breakfast After 10. This is a great song to transition back into the "rock out" mode they enter throughout most of the second disc. Italian Radio featured a violin solo followed by a guitar solo that will give you goosebumps just thinking about what it would have been like to be there. And to keep from screaming out their lungs, they put the always pleasant Chameleon Boy to separate James from Razorblade and Somebody, the three most intense songs Blue October has in their arsenal.
The Amazing/Weight of the World combination is equally fascinating. Furstenfelds passion for his music and his fans his so easily felt in his words. His emotions are displayed clearly, and it takes a lot for anyone to put themselves out like that. Combine that with struggling with mental illness, and there's nothing but respect to be felt for this lead singer.
PRN is Ryan's violin solo, and I knew he was a great violinist. This guy is capable of much more than being great. And Blue October does not waste his talents in the band at all. He is always present in every song, whether its vocals or if hes picking or playing his violin. He does it all. This guy's one of the best I've heard, if not the best.
To end the CD, we are given Come In Closer, and what is to become a version of Foiled's Sound of Pulling Heaven Down. Two very good performances. And if you have the DVD, you get to hear 18th Floor Balcony, my personal favorite Blue October Song out of the bunch.
I can't wait to see this band live. But if you haven't you absolutely must have this CD. After hearing it, you will find yourself counting down the days when Blue October comes into your town.