HOTPRESS LIVE REVIEW: HOZIER IN NYC
30 Mar 2015
24 March, 2015
The world-beating Wicklow man wowed the Hammerstein Ballroom.
PHOTO: Patrick Glennon
Hammerstein Ballroom is a big room with a sticky floor just across the street from Penn Station. Tonight, it is stuffed with a few thousand fans, all of who came to hear a young Irishman who recently took over the world.
Hozier is finishing up the first American stretch of his world tour and amazingly lives up to his hype. He enters the stage quietly and starts off the night with ‘Angel Of Small Death And The Codeine Scene’ and then jumps immediately into hit ‘From Eden’. The atmosphere is electric and so is the man of the hour.
At 25, Hozier seems to be handling his meteoric rise to fame with grace and concentration. He doesn’t showboat or even talk very much, keeping his feet on the ground and his eyes on the guitar. Not since Kurt Cobain has such a powerful sound come out of such a still man.
It is impossible to overstate the sheer musicianship of Hozier. Not only are his songs lyrically sophisticated, but his guitar playing is athletic and thrilling. He’s tight on the left hand and loose on the right, creating a bluesy softness reminiscent of the great Muddy Waters. He powers through his first (and only) album, naturally peaking at fan-favourite ‘Take Me To Church’ and pausing for quieter moments such as morbid harmony gem ‘In A Week’ with cellist Alana Henderson. He ends the night with an acoustic ‘Work Song’ as happy couples kiss and dance in the back of the theatre.
Throughout the night, Hozier is unassuming and fiercely competent. He has the fingers of a jazz guitarist, lyrics of a beat poet and the following of a pop star – a rare concoction that will surely mark this album and tour as the beginning of a legendary career.