A Hozier concert is indeed one place true magic can be felt on earth. On Saturday, October 26th at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Amphitheater, I was lucky enough to feel that magic.
I had been waiting for this concert since September– I received the tickets as a birthday gift– but nothing could have prepared me for the experience.
Before the concert even began, as everyone arrived and filled their seats, the sense of community was there. Everyone was dressed in their most fantastical, fairy-like outfits, and exchanging compliments freely. We were all united as fans of the indie-folk-rock dream, Hozier.
After waiting for a bit, dancing to the likes of Aretha Franklin as we watched the crew set up the stage, the opening act came on.
Madison Ryann Ward played a few of her songs as the crowd watched in awe. Her voice is beautiful– I’m pretty sure we all saved her music on Spotify after her performance. She had an element of audience participation in one of her songs. The crowd sang a part of her song’s chorus after her, and though we all sounded a bit like baby wolves with our “awoo”s, it was fun.
We then waited for another half hour before Hozier came on. At this point, it all felt like a dream. Hozier played “As It Was” first, effectively setting the mood for a night of magic. It was beautiful, and I sang along like a lunatic.
After several songs from both his newest album, Wasteland, Baby!, and his debut album Hozier, he played a slower-tempo version of From Eden, and I’m positive it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard.
Every time Hozier played a slower song, I teared up a bit, and every time he played a faster song, I danced like crazy. I’m pretty sure I accidentally hit multiple people. (Sorry, seat neighbors!)
In between songs, he had a few comments to share about San Diego’s weather, the tour, and his homeland of Ireland, but perhaps the most exciting was that he’s hoping to release new music before Christmas.
After imploring us to not record the next song, and to instead be present, he explained that he was working on a new song along the lines of protest music. He played this song for us, and all I can say is I cannot wait for it to be released so you all can hear it.
Lastly, he played his (arguably) most popular song, “Take Me to Church,” and everyone stood up, danced, and sang at the top of their lungs. It was amazing; it felt like a little family we all had built over the past few hours of the concert.
He left the stage, and many thought it was over, but alas! He returned for the encore. He played “Cherry Wine,” a gorgeous ballad, and I was worried that was it. He introduced his amazing band, and we cheered for his crew, but before the night was over, he played the song I was holding my breath for– “Work Song.”
I cried then. It’s a song that means so much to me, and nothing can beat the sound of it played live. It was stunning.
In the end, there’s only one word that can be used to describe a Hozier concert– ethereal. I’m still floating from it. I think it will always feel like a dream to me, but I’m okay with that. I’ve got a pocket of magic to carry with me now.