Friday, March 13, 2015

Live review: Hozier, The Fillmore (3/12/2015)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 11:12 AM

The Fillmore
March 12, 2015

  • Hozier

If last night's Hozier concert was held a few months ago, it's safe to assume many in attendance would have left after hearing his breakout hit "Take Me to Church." But the N.C. Music Factory venue was packed to the gills with Hozier die-hards. Not just fans who enjoyed the show, but fans who screamed their heads off and sang along to every word the tall, lanky Irishman sang. Fans who shushed those around them who were having worthless conversations. Fans who waited for hours to see one of the biggest rising stars in music these days.

Don't get me wrong — when "Take Me To Church" closed out the singer-songwriter's regular set, swarms of cellphones were held in the air to record the performance, and dozens of people walked out when the song ended. For the majority, though, Hozier's voice captivated the crowd throughout his hour-and-a-half set.

  • Hozier

As Hozier walked out onto the stage, he drew not only screams, but girlish, high-pitched shrieks as well. Before the show, one young woman in the front showed off her Hozier-adorned phone case, and joked that there should be a restraining order against her. She'd been waiting in line outside the venue since noon that day. (The show started at 8:30 p.m., with Hozier appearing at 9:30 p.m.)

When the first notes of "Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene" began, some in the crowd hummed along with the 6-foot-5 singer before singing along. During his performance, Hozier's vocals were usually the focal point, despite having a significant backing band — cello, keyboards, bass, drums, backing singers. This was especially true when he sang without accompaniment. He performed "In a Week" as a duet with singer Alana Henderson, who played cello with the band, while a cover of Skip James' "Illinois Blues" was done on his own. He also opened the four-song encore by himself with his acoustic song "Cherry Wine."

Hozier's adept finger-picking skills were on display for much of the evening. His guitar work was consistently the backbone of his songs with the band fleshing out the sound and adding more depth.

The set contained all 13 tracks from his self-titled debut, along with the James cover and a cover of Amerie's "One Thing" in the encore. He kept his banter short and sweet, usually just a thank you here and there, though he did express appreciation for the support he's gotten for his first visit to Charlotte and talked a bit of his native land at times.

George Ezra
  • George Ezra

Opener George Ezra performed a short, 30-minute set, including his hit single "Budapest," to warm the crowd up. His safe folk-rock was a solid start to the evening.

If you missed last night's stunning performance, don't fret, Hozier will be back on June 17 for a concert at the Uptown Amphitheatre, with Dawes opening.

  • Hozier

Hozier setlist
Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene
From Eden
Jackie and Wilson
Someone New
To Be Alone
It Will Come Back
In a Week
Illinois Blues
Like Real People Do
Arsonists Lullaby
Foreigner's God
Take Me To Church

Cherry Wine
One Thing
Work Song

George Ezra setlist
Cassy O
Blame It on Me
Listen to the Man
Song 6
Did You Hear the Rain?

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