We all love live music…
Dancing like nobody’s watching, screaming lyrics at the top of your lungs, treating yourself to a few pints on a school night.
It’s the best feeling ever.
But every so often you attend one of those gigs that literally changes your life.
I’ve had a few of these, but the one that stands out the most was when I went to see Hozier in 2016 at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool.
My mum bought me tickets for Christmas a few weeks earlier and I went along with my sister to the sold out show.
I was a young lad in my first year of university at the time and was still at the age where the idea of a good gig was getting overly drunk and diving into mosh pits.
This though, was definitely not that type of concert.
For a start, we were seated on the upper balcony and I don’t think those sitting around us would’ve quite appreciated a spontaneous crowd surf.
I didn’t quite know what to expect and at first I found the gig to be a bit unusual. A little grown up, perhaps.
But then I heard Hozier’s voice. My God, what a voice. It’s like honey with the faintest whisper of gravel.
I sat there, mesmerised for the full 2 hour show. He played all the classics from the first and only album at the time: Jackie and Wilson, Someone New, Take me to Church etc.
It was his final song of the night though that really blew me away – Cherry Wine.
That was the first time (and definitely not the last!) that I cried to live music. The sheer warmth and rustic power of that voice just melted my defences.
I’m sure my sister probably made fun of me for it. That’s what big sisters are for.
I drifted home on a cloud of euphoric calmness that night. Once there, I noticed a few messages from a girl I fancied but thought was definitely out of my league.
She had seen a few videos of the gig that I had put on social media and was telling me how jealous she was not to be there.
Still in a Hozier-induced, serene trance-like state, I casually mentioned that we should go to a gig together some time.
Within minutes it was a date.
I did slightly sh*t myself the next day when I came back down to Earth and realised what was happening.
But we went on that date the next week – The Kooks at the Albert Hall in Manchester (the story of that gig is a tale for another time).
Almost 8 years later, we’re still together, are happier than ever and have a calendar bursting with concerts and festivals.
And that, my friends, is the power of music.
What was a gig that changed your life?