Words & Photos: Haley Pagenkopf
On Wednesday, June 4th Hozier brought his Wasteland, Baby! Tour to the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland in Kansas City, Missouri with band BAILEN.
BAILEN is a sibling trio from New York City made up of fraternal twins Daniel (vocals/bass/guitar) and David (vocals/drums) along with their younger sister Julia (vocals/guitar.) They brought songs such as ‘Going On A Feeling’, ‘Something Tells Me’ and ‘Not Gonna Take Me’ from their debut album titled ‘Thrilled To Be Here’ to life on stage. While the crowd wasn’t too familiar with them to start with, judging by the words of praise I heard after their set, they certainly gained some new fans that night.
The air was buzzing with excitement when Andrew Hozier Byrne and his incredible band took to the stage. The show was opened with ‘Would That I’ from Hozier’s newest album ‘Wasteland, Baby!’ which the tour was also named after. Some additional songs in his set from the same album included ‘Dinner & Diatribes’, ‘No Plan’, ‘Nobody’, and ‘Nina Cried Power’ along with popular tracks ‘Movement’ and ‘Almost (Sweet Music)’. There were also a few songs from his self-titled album that was released in September of 2014 included in the show. Those songs were ‘To Be Alone’, ‘Cherry Wine’, ‘From Eden’, ‘Work Song’, ‘Someone New’ and my personal favorite ‘Jackie and Wilson’. There were also songs such as ‘Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene’ and ‘Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)’ that came from EP’s that he has released. Before he came out to do three encores, the show was closed out with none other than ‘Take Me To Church’.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect from a Hozier show other than an incredible performance.. I certainly got that and much more. One of my favorite experiences from the sold out show was the crowd. You could very easily tell that every single ticket holder truly wanted to be there and was enjoying themselves and the music. A specific moment that comes to mind was during his first of three encore songs which was ‘Cherry Wine’. Hozier stepped away from the mic to give the audience a chance to sing the first pre-chorus and chorus. Not only did everyone sound insanely beautiful, but each word and lyric was loud and easily heard. I had chills and am unable to think of anything except that experience each time the song comes on.
This leg of Wasteland, Baby! Tour may have come to an end, but Hozier will be on the road in the US again this fall. Before that, he has a string of festival dates as well as a Europe tour lined up. If you have the chance to see Hozier live, I can’t recommend it enough. Be sure to check out Hozier and BAILEN if you haven’t already. You can find their music on all streaming platforms and purchase physical copies from each of their websites.