A few months ago, my friend Alexia asked if I wanted to go to the Hozier concert with her. I had listened to his album a few times as I studied it and generally liked it. Plus, I was a huge fan of “Take Me to Church” and “Someone New,” so I thought it might be fun to go and listen to the album millions of times before the concert. I did just that and as I listened, every song was just so good so I was super excited. The venue we went to was a really small amphitheater with three tiers. While it was small, it was definitely intimate, which I think was the best way to experience a Hozier concert. Alexia and I sat in row K, so we were fairly close (to Hozier’s beautiful face). Little Green Cars opened up and they are like Of Monsters and Men, but with more balance between the female and male vocals. They’re really good live and I have been listening to them lately as well.
“Jackie and Wilson” has a pretty cool rock vibe and it’s just one of those songs you can put on to get you in a good mood. It’s really fun and the performance was no different.
“Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” Prior to the concert, this was my favorite song off the album. The beginning is just so gripping and I love Hozier’s vocabulary with words like “wretched” sprinkled throughout his lyrics. This one is just a really powerful and edgy ballad. It reminds me a lot of Ed Sheeran’s “A-Team” in terms of what it says, which I know isn’t an exact match, but they have a similar vibe while still being two very different songs.
“Someone New” I love how chilled out the intro to this song is and then it gets playful before becoming really upbeat. The crowd was lit when this played and the band kicked up the sound a notch, so it was extra fun in person. Singles are always crowd pleasers and this one was no different.
“Like Real People Do” I love the folk feel of this song. Live, Hozier’s vocals absolutely made the song. It’s another beautiful song and the accompanyment was so perfectly done.
“In a Week” Hozier took his cellist, Alana Henderson, and had her perform this song with him. He introduced the song as being about a small town in Ireland where the only time it ever pops up in the news is when a body turns up. Not the best setup for a song, but certainly an interesting one. Needless to say, the song is very creepily about dying with your love and becoming a part of the earth. They performed it as an acoustic rendetion and it was literally so beautiful I had chills.
“Cherry Wine” This was probably my favorite moment from the concert. Firstly, Hozier sent everyone off the stage so it was just him and a guitar. When he tried to begin the concert, he c
ouldn’t because the audience was cheering so loudly and he laughed instead of beginning the song. It was very cute and humble. He laughed as he told us, “You really threw me off there” and then he proceeded to try it again, chuckling as he began the song to more cheering. Every time there was a pause in the lyrics, we cheered some more and he would smile and laugh. It was the kind of experience you can only get in that intimate a venue with an authentic artist like Hozier. The bonus track version of the album has the live version of this song and like with the rest, it sounds the same, only better in concert. He ended the song by telling us that was the best reaction he’s ever had to this particular song, which of course led to more cheering and has since made it one of my faves.
“Take Me to Church” In my experience, many artists take a song like this and drag out the intro or the ending, making it extra dramatic for their show. This song is very different though in that it’s
already so powerful and while it was obviously more so in person, it wasn’t dramatic live. The performance gave this song the justice it deserved and the entire crowd was singing at the top of their lungs (obviously). I will say the “Amen” section was incredible. It just created a totally different atmosphere, which was really cool. This was his “last song” before he came back for the encore, which shocked me because most artists like to save the big ones for the encore, but Hozier dances to a different beat.
“Problem” Hozier did the impossible and made me enjoy an Ariana Grande song. He completely owned this song. His cover is available here from the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. It was fun, dynamic, interesting, and not at all overpowered by excessive wailing. Honestly one of my favorite bits of the concert.
“Work Song” closed out the concert and for good reason. My brother showed me this song, like with a proper listen, for the first time the week before the concert and I really liked it. Then at the concert, I gave it another good listen and got totally lost in the lyrics. I’ve had the song on repeat since. I’m obsessed. If you haven’t listened to this one, you’re seriously missing out.
What did I learn from this concert? Hozier’s vocals sound even better in person than they do on the radio (impressive, I know). Also, Hozier is beautiful and can work the man bun like no other. Omg and the Irish accent. And he is just so humble and you can tell he is really appreciative of anyone who supports him. I’m genuinely in love now. If Ed Sheeran didn’t perform on stage by himself and deliver the phenomenal performance he does, Hozier would be the best performer I’ve seen. If you can get yourself to a show, please do yourself a favor and do it, especially because his tickets aren’t too pricey.