MusicRock

Hozier Grasps the Audience at the Microsoft Theater

Los Angeles experienced a roller coaster of emotions while infatuation levels peaked at Hozier’s sold out concert at the Microsoft (previously, Nokia) Theater. Fans received so much more than what was expected from the gut wrenching songwriter this past Tuesday night.

Native Irishmen, Andrew Hozier-Byrne brings forth an astonishing presence while performing on stage. With a height at six foot, five inches he towers over his band mates. His height (as well as beautiful locks of trussing hair) is just another piece that characterizes his persona and talent: incredible, influential, powerful…the list of words never ends. Because in a world in which Top 40 pop songs dominate radio stations, Hozier transports listeners to another dimension of music. At first glance, or listen, we hear blues and rock in the global smash hit, Take Me To Church, but Hozier is breaking boundaries by gluing numerous genres together including blues, rock, gospel, soul, and folk into one album.

The words are equally distinctive as the music. Really, though, describing Hozier requires a deeper understanding of his songs. Hozier sings, “Babe, there’s something wretched about this. Something so precious about this. Where to begin?” in From Eden. This lyric is a perfect representation of what Hozier embodies. His tunes are stunning, yet laced with dark undertones. You would never know the meaning behind Hozier’s songs unless you paid close attention. He delves into universal issues that society struggles with; homophobia in Take Me To Church, rape culture in To Be Alone, and domestic abuse in Cherry Wine. Yet Hozier masters poetry; words are carefully and eloquently crafted in addition to his cutting edge, glorious tunes. His music is like a hymn that speaks to young generations who are stumbling as they discover themselves through love and sexuality.

Hozier goes from song to song on stage, and briefly stops in between to introduce and explain the music. It is hard to believe, but Hozier is the real deal. He emotionally connects to his fans, while simultaneously finger picking and singing. In his love song, In A Week, he brings forward Alana Henderson, (also his backup cellist) to duet with him, just like how it’s done on the album. The arena stays quiet to listen and chills transcend into the audience as if you’re sitting in a cathedral. He walked off stage after he performed Take Me To Church, but once four minutes passed, audience members begged for an encore, and there was surely a positive response. Hozier and his band returned to the stage to cover a completely Hozier-ed version of The Beatles’ Blackbird. An intense moment for fans as they just learned how versatile his ability stretches. Hozier’s album is only 13 songs in length, so “for a little funsies” he says, he covers another, Ariana Grande’s One Less Problem and fans are amazed with how easily any song can be Hozierized.

He ended the night with my favorite soul gripping song titled Work Song. “When my time comes around, lay me gently in the cold dark Earth. No grave can hold my body down, I crawl home to her.” Once again, he sends chills down everyone’s spine. Stellar performance, brilliant artist.

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