okay, so hozier concert experience.
to get tickets, you had to pay to enter a ballot, which was then drawn. i wasn’t lucky, i didn’t get through. but, BUT then i got an email on the monday saying some people hadn’t bought their tickets and did i want some so i clicked very, very quickly and got two tickets.
i emailed the venue about disability access because i suck at being nervous and standing up for long periods of time and not having panic attacks, and they were super nice and arranged for me and my dad to sit somewhere quieter and out of the way. they totally didn’t have to, koko is a standing venue, but they did and it made all the difference.
we arrived at just before 7pm and because of the email i’d sent, when the doors opened i was able to skip the queue and be escorted to the seats, which was nice and i was practically vibrating out of my skin with nerves. it was on the balcony, and the bars came up above my head which meant i spent most of the concert watching through them like some weird, slightly bewildered zoo animal. the venue itself was gorgeous, properly ornate and oldschool.
time ticked by, and nothing was really happening. below us, the venue was slowly filling up and it wasn’t until 8pm that the support act came on. i have never felt more sorry for a support act as i did for them, because they hadn’t been advertised so nobody was expecting them - they had come for hozier and hozier alone. a lot of people spent the entire time talking (loudly too, i had my earplugs in and could still hear them) and on their phones, which lit up the dark bright enough that the people on stage had to have seen. i’m sure they are a great band, but it wasn’t their night.
they played about six songs before leaving, and then, finally, at 9pm, hozier arrived.
everything about it was magical, it felt like… this sounds dumb, but it felt like every song was a hymn, a sort of heathen hymn for the masses and the lights and the accompanying vocals just hit somewhere deep and primal and made it feel otherworldly. hozier seemed to be having a really great time on stage, and as the songs progressed, the audience warmed up more and more, until everyone was singing and clapping along. it felt like we were all part of something magical.
when he played nfwmb it felt like the price of admission was worth it.
when he played arsonist’s lullabye, my favourite song by someone who is, ya know, still alive, i felt like… this was worth it, all the anxiety, the fact i was still shaking like a leaf, the brief panic attack in the bathroom, all of it worth it. i haven’t been to many gigs (obviously), so i don’t have much to compare to, but this was… i know we joke about hozier being a fae or something, but i swear to god if it came out that he actually was, it would not surprise me. something was in the air.
by the time he got to take me to church (or take me to the church as my dad calls it) everyone was singing along and it was over too quickly. the band left the stage and it looked like that was it.
but then he came back on and played three more songs. three! that’s what i call an encore.
the staff who had looked after me were amazing, and checked up on us as we left. i honestly can’t fault them, and sent an email the next day thanking them and the woman who set it all up for me. it’s so important when people do make things accessible to thank them - i know things should be accessible as a matter of course, but often they’re not, and thanking people who help out makes it seem more worth their while. i couldn’t have gotten through the concert without their help.
i bought a t-shirt with the tour dates on, the first tour t-shirt i’ve ever owned where i’ve actually been to one of the dates, and then we left, catching the tube back to my uncle’s flat.
and the magic followed.
as we unlocked the gate, there were two foxes right in front of us, just stood there, without a care in the world. i’ve always had a connection to foxes, probably from watching animals of farthing wood so much as a child, but i’ve rarely had the chance to see one. so to see two, their light adolescent cub coats pale in the moonlight, walking only a few steps ahead of us, it felt like they were spirits or something. i learnt, unfortunately, that foxes do not respond to cat calls (when you make an idiot of yourself and try to call a cat over, not the other kind) and they left, but still. STILL. it felt so magical.
we got up to the flat, and i was sure i wouldn’t sleep.
but there was one last piece of magic left, and i slept like a log.
10/10 would recommend to a friend.
oh, and as the concert was to raise money for war child, here is the link again: https://www.warchild.org.uk/