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[ATTENDED: May 9, 2023] Hozier

Hozier announced a headline tour this year (first tour in several years) and I knew I had to get tickets.  My son is a big fan and the rest of us like him quite a lot.  We saw him at Newport Folk Festival a few years ago (although my son chose to skip that day) and he was amazing live.

The tickets went on sale mid March and I got 100% shut out from the Mann Center.  I probably could have gotten lawn seats, but that would have been decidedly uncool.  And by the time I decided whether or not to get lawn seats, they were all gone too (sold out the 14,000 capacity venue, no bad).

And then in mid April he announced he’d be playing some “pop up” shows.  Including one at World Cafe Live.

I never thought I’d get tickets, but somehow I managed to get two.  So my son and I went to Philly to see him.  And, without even talking about the show I can attest that it was 100% better than seeing him at the Mann Center and 1000% better than seeing him from the lawn at the Mann Center.

We arrived early in hopes of getting pretty close to the stage (WCL is quite small with great sightlines.  I didn’t think we’d get up front–and my son was fine with that–but I didn’t want to be too close to the noisy bar either).  We passed by the venue at 6:30 and saw a relatively small line.  But we had plans for Federal Donuts and fried chicken.  Only to discover after the three or four block walk that this location closed at 3 (two blocks from 2 colleges and you close at 3PM?).  That threw off all the plans, so we wound up going to an amazing Halal food truck.  I couldn’t walk and eat, so I stuff my gyro into my pocket and we headed into the venue (thank goodness they didn’t search for food).

We got down there and my son was delighted with how tiny the place was.  I didn’t want to stand right where people come in so we squeezed  to the other side.  Which was pretty good, although there were a couple of tall people who I knew would block our view from time to time.  So he sneaked around to the side.  I thought it might be a little far to the side (and in fairness, I couldn’t see all of the band), but the sightline for Hozier himself were perfect.  And that’s what we were there for.

Hozier and his large band (nine people in total) came out to much applause. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: May 9, 2023] Julia Pratt

I was so excited to get tickets to this Hozier pop up show.  I actually assumed there would not be an opening act.  Although with the show slated to start at  7:30, surely they must have someone first.

And indeed, a few days ago they announced it would be Julia Pratt, a young Philly musician who will also be playing Philly Music Fest this year.

Julia has a powerful voice and seems like the nicest person in the world.  She was really sweet on stage and was genuinely delighted when people made heart signs back to her.

Her songs were simple (she told us which ones had been released or not) but catchy.

However, she did the thing that I hate the most in singers.  She turned one syllable words into seventeen syllable words by hitting every note on the entire scale.  It sets me on edge when singers do this and she did it constantly.  To me it sounds like compensating for a weak voice or someone who can’t hit a note.  But her voice was really nice when she sang normally.

But the crowd seemed to really enjoy the acrobatics so she kept doing it.  And she seemed really nice so I hope she gets lots of success.

But for me, it was an unpleasant 30 minutes, but also because there were drunken women next to me who almost got in a fight when one tried to sneak past the other.  Good grief.

 

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