Hozier Takes Los Angeles To Church

Hozier at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA on October 10th, 2018

Almost every time I mention Hozier to someone, I always get the response, “ Is he that guy that sang that one song?”. The answer is always yes, he did sing “Take Me To Church”; that song which you probably heard on an endless loop for months after it hit the airwaves. But Hozier is more than an Irish man with an insanely memorable song. He oozes soul, depth, and emotion when he sings. His lyrics make the heart ache and remind you of all your past broken relationships.

Hozier’s first self-titled album was released in the fall of 2014 and he quite immediately hit the festival circuit, making appearances at notable festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza. After immense success of his first effort, Hozier kind of slowly went into hiding and didn’t reappear until this year with a brand new EP titled Nina Cried Power, featuring the legendary Mavis Staples on the title track. Having only seen Hozier perform in a festival environment at a time when I knew very little of his material, I was curious to see what his stage presence would be like in a much more intimate environment, especially since i’m a bonafide fan now.

The Wiltern isn’t what most would deem an ‘intimate venue’ but in comparison to large outdoor main stage I saw him last perform on, it certainly was just that. Before he was due on stage, I heard murmurs of girls behind me, eagerly awaiting the presence of their heart throb crooner. Only the second song into his set, he played “Nina Cried Power” and instantly chills ran through my body. His atmospheric voice filled the theater and silenced most of the chattering audience. His Irish roots are blended into his unique blues/rock melodies and are accented by his voice. Towards the end of his performance, he debuted a new single '“Movement”. The lights dimmed and a constellation of lights speckled the stage. One thing Hozier certainly knows how to do is set a mood. As a part of the encore, he sang “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child; never in my wildest dreams would I have thought he would have done a rendition of a famous pop hit.

Hozier should never be limited to the term ‘one hit wonder’. His debut album was a masterpiece that is truly a memorable experience to hear live. Now we anxiously await the arrival of his sophomore effort but I have faith that he won’t disappoint.

Words & Photos by Summer Dos Santos