Hozier at Irving Plaza 11/5/14

Since being home (New Jersey) I've taken a bit of a break from K-Pop. I still religiously read Asian Junkie for my daily Kpop LOLz, but overall I've been more attuned to Western music these past few months. By Western music, I pretty much mean one artist: Hozier.


That time Zach Braff told me about Hozier

In the summer, my friend and I went to a Q&A session in Union Square with Zach Braff the day his movie (Wish I Was Here) came out. The soundtrack features Hozier's Cherry Wine, and he described the way the song was recorded live - not in the traditional sense in that it was recorded at a concert - but recorded outdoors, with sounds of birds chiming in on the track. I also learned that not only was he a Hozier fan, but he loves Game of Thrones. He gave away multiple GOT action figures during the event. Hodor! Hodor? Hodor.
Hey bae <3
After weeks of impromptu Hozier dance parties and listening to every performance of his I could find on YouTube, I bit the bullet and paid 3x the ticket price to see his sold out show at Irving Plaza on 11/5. Having never been to Irving Plaza before, I wanted to find the theater to avoid any last minute confusion. I dropped in during the afternoon on the day of the show.

Very excited. Much happy.

That time I saw Hozier

The box office wasn't even open yet. After waiting for a minute alone in the lobby with no one in sight, I looked through the window of the second set of heavy doors leading into the venue. The room was painted red and covered in red velvet furniture. As I peaked inside, I saw Hozier sitting on the couch, facing the door, some 10 feet away. He must have been in the midst of an interview or meeting of some sort, but there he was. As I gawked, the door opened and a man with red hair and an Irish accent asked me what I wanted. I (stupidly) asked him "Hi, do you work here?" not knowing what else to say. Soon an actual employee came out to help me and the door was shut. So, I guess I missed my chance of ever meeting him.

Showtime:

 Hozier from the front row at Irving Plaza, NYC. General admission has its perks!

I made it to the front row. All of my expectations were exceeded by the show. Jackie and Wilson, Someone New, Sedated, and To Be Alone stood out specifically in my mind as being excellent live and with the full band. Cherry Wine was somber, sweet, and definitely the most intimate moment of the show. Already, it seems the days of cheap Hozier tickets are over: his 2015 shows in the US are already sold out.

Honorable mention: James Bay opened for Hozier. This song was GREAT. Found myself really enjoying his set, having never heard of him before.

That time people got their panties in a twist 

Since studying abroad at UCD in Dublin, (read about my life in Dublin at my old blog, dublintoxicated) I still routinely read the Irish Times to remind myself of the little life I had there. The Irish media adores Hozier and writes articles about him every few weeks, essentially updating the country on his continuing success. However, Irish news has been scrutinizing his decision to perform at the Victoria Secret Fashion Show last month with articles like this crappy one and this other crappy one. Both articles are full of knee-jerk reactions and cheap shots, but most of all serve as examples of how possessive we can become of artists that we like.

For an artist that evokes imagery of rotting corpses, grave-digging, and also personifies the serpent from the garden of Eden in his debut album, the fashion show does seem an odd fit for Hozier. Yet despite the explosive success and Grammy nomination for Take Me To Church, dozens of sold out shows stateside, and a run around of prime time TV appearances, Hozier is still in the process of fully breaking into the US market. The exposure to US audiences is enough of a reason for him to perform at the show. Not that he needs to justify it. This is the way the system works. Need more #hozierexposure. Anyway, he followed up the Vickie's show with a brief Ireland tour and won everybody over again as made evident in this article. I was never worried.

2015 is poised to be another great year for Hozier. I'm going back to Korea next month so I guess I'll just campaign for him to come to Seoul. Hozier oopppppaaaaaaa 오빠~~~~~

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