Hozier – The Fox Theater – Oakland, CA – February 10, 2015
By now most have had the chance to hear Take Me To Church by Hozier; whether through the airwaves, through the popular LeBron James, Beats commercial or all be it during the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show where Andrew Hozier-Byrne stood in the middle of the runway to play a set while the ever so beautiful Victoria Secret Models sang to themselves as they walked by.
Last night I had the opportunity to see him for myself at The Fox Theater in Oakland, and he did not disappoint. His presence was inviting, but commanding at the same time. Hozier did not need to make many dramatic movements or shift all over the stage pouring out his energy and sweat for fans to feel his emotions. Andrew Hozier-Byrne was able to stand strong, dead center, and command your attention for an entire set – and that’s all we needed.
Opening the night with Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene, he set the mood for the rest of the night. The somber, yet uplifting air was enforced through everything, even the lighting. The lighting is absolutely worth mentioning, major props to the production team. Talk about being able to enhance an experience. Seeing that he was not much of a mover – this was the perfect compliment.
Hozier was able to take us on a complete journey. At times he was able to use just the spotlight a guitar and his voice, providing an intimate set – but also was able to seamlessly bring his band members back on stage for support throughout the night. Hozier even gave us a glimpse into one of his influences, by performing a seamless cover of Skip James’ – Illinois Blues giving us all an insight into who helped mold his sound and style.
Many might be surprised at how good ALL of his songs are, and to be honest, even I was a little taken aback. I’ve listened through his album numerous times and liked it, but after watching his live set I have a new appreciation for the album in its entirety.
It was encore time, and we all knew we we’re going to get Take Me To Church. Hozier returned to the stage and delivered. But we wanted more. We needed more. And Hozier planned on delivering more. Instead of just playing one or two more songs, he carried us away with Cherry Wine and the bonus track Run. I was impressed, it felt like he played at least five more songs. He might just like taking an early break – or knows how to close out a show. I’ll take the latter.
All in all, Andrew Hozier-Byrne is worth your time and money.
Here are the songs you need to give a listen:
From Eden – Work Song – Sedated – To Be Alone – Someone New – Like Real People Do – In A Week