Hozier serenaded his fans on the field at Petco, under the Halloween full moon on a mild Autumn evening, he knocked it out of the park.The X factor of the show wasn’t just Hozier’s hauntingly beautiful lyrics or his angelic voice, but the infectious energy exuded by his band’s chemistry.

Hozier’s most striking quality, other than his signature long hair, is his vocal range and voice. You can expect a dream-like and melancholic quality to his songs and lyrics, but when preforming live with his band, there is a rawness, funk, and jam-band like aspect that isn’t on the recordings. Hozier has mastered the art of building tension in his songs with the pre-chorus, followed by expertly composed melodies and an ultra-satisfying chorus. This is something we see time and time again in traditional pop music, but with Hozier’s different soundscape this hits the listener entirely different, especially live.

Hozier’s ability to tackle complex and emotional subjects with grace and thoughtfulness remains a striking feature; his song “Take Me to Church” addresses issues of love, sexuality, and discrimination, and became an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community. Other songs like “Someone New,” “Work Song,” and “From Eden” showcase his storytelling prowess and ability to convey deep emotions.

Hozier draws inspiration from a wide range of sources, including blues and soul legends like Nina Simone and Mavis Staples, as well as folk artists like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. This diverse set of influences is evident in the richness and depth of his music and was on display throughout the show. On stage, he referenced this inspiration before performing “Nina Cried Power,” which he famously wrote with Mavis Staples. This song is truly an ode to the musicians that inspired his music.

The setlist was incredibly pleasing for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Hozier. He pulled tracks from all of his well-loved albums from Take Me To Church (2013), From Eden (2014), Nina Cried Power (2018), and his highly anticipated album Unreal Unearth, which he released earlier this year.

For those who couldn’t be there and also, for those who want to relive the experience again at home, the set list was as follows:

De Selby (Part 1)
De Selby (Part 2)
Jackie and Wilson
From Eden
To Be Alone
Dinner & Diatribes
Cherry Wine
I, Carrion (Icarian)
Stretched on Your Grave
([traditional] cover) (first verse only)
Like Real People Do
Abstract (Psychopomp)
Would That I
Damage Gets Done
Almost (Sweet Music)
Eat Your Young
First Light
Take Me to Church

Nina Cried Power
Work Song (with Madison Cunningham)

Review By: Zena Marpet
Photos by: Allyson Ta