Sunfest 33: Hozier

Singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne
Singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne

Irish artiste Andrew Hozier-Byrne deserves some style points for his atmospheric staging. Light beams of various colours cut through the dark and the smoke, making the stage look like the interior of a gloomy cathedral.

Hozier under the lights at Sunfest

The other notable visual feature was the Hozier name rendered in jagged strokes; in addition to appearing in the typical kick-drum location and on other equipment, the logo appeared most notably as a large backlit display at the rear of the stage.

Normally, the plastering of an artist’s name all over his stage would indicate a massive ego, but the writer of the song seemed anything but that. Even though the large screaming audience appeared to be very familiar with his material, he still took a lot of time in between songs to talk about their meanings, making his large-stage festival show feel more like an intimate coffee-house appearance.

Hozier talking to the Sunfest audience

In addition to a typical lineup of keyboards, bass, guitars and two female backing vocalists, the band’s instruments also included a cello.

Hozier himself strummed a lovely assortment of guitars as he sang selections from his 2014 self-titled debut.  The material ranged from bluesy tunes (“To Be Alone”, “It Will Come Back”), ornate acoustic ballads (Like Real People Do”) and string-oriented songs (“Someone New”).

As might be expected, the last song of Hozier’s set was his international hit ballad, “Take Me To Church.” Certainly a soulful way to end a Saturday night.

Photo of Hozier backing vocalists by Empress K of Reggae Reflection

Hozier's backing vocalists

Hozier at Sunfest

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