Houston Learned Nothing From Last Month's Hozier Concert

Hozier Bayou Music Center April 22, 2015

About a month ago, Hozier graced Houston with his presence at Warehouse Live, a show that sold out in a very short amount of time. Wednesday night's concert at Bayou Music Center allowed people another quick opportunity to catch the budding singer-songwriter during his meteoric rise. His performance, though, was nearly a note-for-note carbon copy of his previous stop.

Seriously, fellow Houston Press writer Cory Garcia's review could have changed the date and venue and still been used for this show. According to the Internet, his live performances are boring and his duet at the Grammys with Annie Lennox on "Take Me to Church/I Put a Spell on You" was lackluster. But her iconic style and energy would make almost any rookie performer look unfairly dull by comparison. After seeing Hozier at Warehouse Live, I decided that in our ADHD society many people may be excited to hear an artist on the radio but lack the attention span necessary to enjoy a 17-song set of music.

REWIND: Hozier Fights the Good Fight Against a Chatty Houston Crowd

Hozier took the stage with a cellist, drummer, keyboard player, bass guitar and two backup vocalists, opening with catchy tune that is getting some satellite radio airplay, "Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene." Listening to this song raises the question, has there been a happier-sounding song about addiction since Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life?"

Just as reported a month ago, after a strong start, several songs in the crowd was lost to their own chatter for a few songs while Hozier started an acoustic duet with cellist Alana Henderson. Nonsense was being spoken all across the venue as many concertgoers babbled throughout the show. It was maddening for those not normally exposed to that behavior, but is becoming the accepted norm for others.

REWIND: How Not to Behave at a Houston Concert

It was unfortunate, because "In a Week" is a beautiful song that speaks of the strength of love through death regardless of what happens to our physical bodies; and also a twisted tune about adoration and nature's assistance in decomposing. Many people may not realize the dark and morbid lyrical content of Hozier's music. It's possible that Satan co-wrote some of these songs, and if you played his self-titled record backwards that rainbows and cute puppies would flow out of your speakers.

The biggest applause of the night occurred when Hozier talked about how much he enjoys playing in Texas, followed by a close second with the opening of "Take Me to Church." The crowd performed the repetitive singalong in unison and when the last notes were over, there was a mass exodus for the door. Perhaps they were headed to see Jesus, the bartender at the Hard Rock Café next door.

Story continues on the next page.

During his encore when introducing the song "Run," he said, "Not sure if there is anyone else from Ireland here." The shouts and screams that rained down quickly turned into laughter when people realized that half of the venue could not all hail from his home country. It was a comical moment that rounded out his show.

If you take anything away from this review. it is that Hozier is a great live performer. His powerful vocals and underrated guitar playing should keep him in the music business for the long haul even if people leave his shows early.

So, How Were the Openers? Low Roar is an Icelandic three-piece that used an acoustic guitar, synthesizers and drums to create a sound reminiscent of less chaotic B-sides from Radiohead's OK Computer. However, during several songs the recorded electronic instrumentals were so overpowering and loud that the vocals were indecipherable during several songs in their 30-minute set.

Personal Bias: I am happy that so many more people were able to see Hozier. I am sad that those people were not able to hear Hozier.

Amazing Statistic of the Night: Only one person was sporting a fedora in the whole joint. Was this because the fedora fad has finally passed or was this young lady trying to bring back the trend? Think about that for a second.

SET LIST Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene From Eden Jackie and Wilson Someone New To Be Alone It Will Come Back In a Week Illinois Blues (Skip James Cover) Like Real People Do Arsonist's Lullaby Foreigner's God Sedated Take Me to Church

ENCORE Cherry Wine Run One Thing Work Song

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