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Live Review: Hozier Takes Sold Out Crowd to Church During Final Night of U.S. Tour

by Carolyn Menyes   Nov 7, 2014 22:14 PM EST

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On Thursday night (Nov. 6), the Irving Plaza in New York City went to church. Not literally, of course, the 1000-something capacity venue wasn't turned into a technical sanctuary though something miraculous did happen. No, the Irving Plaza was converted to the word of Hozier.

On the final night of his first North American tour, Hozier, also known as Andrew Hozier-Byrne didn't need much to totally dazzle the crowd. Backed by a mixed gender band, in front of the beyond sold out Irving Plaza crowd, Hozier already had pure acceptance.

From the opening words of "Like Real People Do" through the stomping of "Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene" to the somber and sweet acoustic set in the middle of the show, the entire packed crowd was enamored by Hozier. Hushes could be heard throughout the audience numerous times as those in attendance tried to hear just a touch of Hozier's gospel.

Hozier began the show with the full band, though he shined best with the quiet and contemplative middle portion, where he played cuts like "Cherry Wine" with no accompaniment besides his own guitar. Sometimes it's the simplest expressions that ring with the most truth, and a Hozier show is definitely not an exception to that rule.

Though best known stateside for his top 10 single "Take Me To Church," the audience appreciated the full Hozier set, which included covers of Amerie's "1 Thing" and Skip James' "Illinois Blues."

The most impressive thing about the concert was Hozier's simplistic approach to performance; with little flare he was able to captivate the venue.

The true highlight, however, was Hozier's new signature song "Take Me to Church," which he closed his main set with. The punchy yet orchestral track shined in the live setting, with the audience willingly preaching "Amen" alongside Hozier.

 Hozier took me to church.

A video posted by athousandmph (@athousandmph) on Nov 11, 2014 at 7:30pm PST

The gospel of Hozier was truth, and he proved that his seemingly overnight international success was no fluke. Unlike some of his contemporaries in the top 10, Hozier is a true artist, and each song rang with noted emotion and technical perfection. The show at Irving Plaza was a rare sight for those in attendance, because it's highly unlikely Hozier will ever play a show this intimate in New York again.

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