Once in a while there comes a talent that exceeds all expectations. On the 29th of March 2015, we had the privilege to witness this talent. Hozier brought his tour to Australia. The Irish musician played the Metro in Sydney, to a crowd of adoring fans for just under ninety minutes. What I really loved seeing was the lack of phones and cameras in the crowd. People were there to experience the show, to enjoy it completely. Fans sang along, cheered and laughed throughout the sold-out show.
As Andrew Hozier-Byrne walked on to the stage, applause and cheers filled the room. Hozier belted out tracks such as From Eden, To Be Alone, It Will Come Back and Foreigner’s God. What I love about Hozier’s voice is the fact it’s so distinctive. Add to that, the fact that his warm dulcet tones bring each song to life.
Another thing that was quite noticeable, was the way he would take the time to look at particular members of the audience; fans, with an intensity behind his eyes that really added to the performance. At certain points Hozier grinned in response to the audiences excitement, happiness beaming from his expression. When you think about it, Hozier brought a whole new audience together, a mix of music lovers, of blues, rock, indie and pop. Everyone was there for one sole purpose, to watch a performance that absolutely captured you.
He’d paint a vivid picture, not just through his lyrics but through the stories that accompanied these songs. Explaining how tracks like Cherry Wine came to be and his latest single Someone New. He spoke about his country when performing In A Week with his cellist Alana, who sang alongside him creating beautiful harmonies.
It was such a relaxed environment, everyone was happy and completely enveloped by the performance. Hozier spent some time introducing his band and mentioned everyone involved. He also played two covers Illinois Blues by Skip James and 1 Thing by Amerie, adding his own flair to each track.
Four female singers, two of which were also instrumentalists (keys and cello) created the perfect harmony of haunting vocals to go with tracks such as, Arsonist’s Lullaby and Work Song. When announced he would play his hit track, Take Me To Church, to close the show, fans were jubilant. Singing along and providing perfect vocals, full of emotion and spirit.
As the singer left the stage he waved to fans who moments later were cheering Encore. Hozier walked back on with guitar in hand to sing Cherry Wine acoustically. Bringing the band back to the stage, he performed his Amerie cover, and then closed the show with another fan favourite Work Song. It was great to see the crowd involvement in this final song, assisting with the percussion, fans clapped along, adding a raw quality to the whole live experience.
I really enjoyed the opening act, Dustin Tebbutt. It was a great set up, using electronics to create a base track for each song accompanied by an instrumentalist. Observing Tebbutt you could see the way each instrument created the foundation for his music. I really loved his voice, mesmerising in some tracks. It’s great to see young talent being recognised and given a platform like this to grow and generate more fans.
The show overall was so enjoyable, I didn’t want it to end. Hozier mentioned he would be returning within the year. Until then.