After his EP “Take Me To Church” conquered the airwaves, Hozier became a household name. The musician from Wicklow County in Ireland has been in demand everywhere. He has since performed on Saturday Night Live, at the Victoria’s Secret fashion Show 2014, Coachella and even sang a brilliant duet with Annie Lennox at the 57th Grammys. Last Wednesday night, Houston was lucky enough to be a stop on his latest US tour.
The sold out show started with the almost haunting tunes of the opening act, Low Roar, after which Hozier came on stage with “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene.” Despite the title and dark lyrics, the music is almost uplifting. All I can say is, give it a listen. He continued on with “From Eden” and “Jackie and Wilson,” before stopping to chat with the cheering crowd. After explaining that the next song was appropriately co-written with an ex-girlfriend, he launched into “Someone New” (The music video of the song features the beautiful Natalie Dormer, so definitely go check that out!).
Hozier and his band followed up with “To Be Alone” and “It Will Come Back,” after which he took a moment to introduce his cellist, Alana Henderson, also a singer and songwriter from Ireland. He explained how the name Wicklow County is almost always preceded by the phrase, “body found in.” After this short anecdote, they performed a duet of “In a Week,” which seems to be written in the point of view of the “bodies” found in Wicklow County. Yes, it sounds terrible but if you focus on how beautiful the pair’s vocals are you can almost ignore the lyrics. Almost.
Next, Hozier explained his love for the bluesy music and performed a cover of Skip James’ “Illinois Blues.” This was followed by “Like Real People Do,” “Arsonist’s Lullabye,” “Foreigner’s God” and “Sedated.” It was clear by the screams that went through the Bayou that the crowd was waiting on the song of the night. Hozier gave the audience what they had been waiting on all night when he started singing “Take Me To Church,” the song that put him on the map.
Houston wouldn’t let him leave that easily, however. After cheers for an encore, Hozier came back on stage, hair untied and guitar in hand to give an acoustic performance of “Cherry Wine.” Couples in the audience took advantage of the fact that Hozier was serenading them with a beautiful song, and slow danced in the middle of the crowd. That wasn’t the end of the encore, though. Hozier didn’t give us one, or even two songs, but FOUR! He followed up with “Run,” a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Problem,” and ended the night with the audience clapping along to my new personal favorite, “Work Song.”
The show was all that I expected and more! Not only was it a showcase of a brilliant vocalist, but also the lighting which was on point. Every turn the music took, the light design was perfectly in sync with it giving the show an extra touch of awesome.
Hozier definitely left Houston on a high note, and I thank him for it. If you’ve only ever heard “Take Me To Church” on the radio, I strongly suggest you give his other songs a listen and try and catch a live show. I promise, it only gets better!
By: Charlene Irani