Hozier harnesses passion in Austin performance

Landry Allred

Following his recent album release “Wasteland, Baby!” at the beginning of March, Hozier was quick to jump on the tour bus.

Musician Andrew Hozier-Byrne, professionally known as Hozier, performed his 16th show of his “Wasteland, Baby!” North American tour Sunday, March 31 at ACL Live at the Moody Theater.

After much anticipation from the crowd, Hozier appeared on stage in a sea of blue lights. Guitar in hand, he strummed out the chords of “Would That I,” and the crowd quickly recognized the tune, raising their hands and swaying side to side.

Hozier kept the crowd engaged throughout the show with his intimate gaze and captivating vocals. Throughout the performance, pure passion radiated from him as he often opened his mouth, almost as if to gasp at the sheer power in his own voice. Hozier’s love for performing leaked out as he jumped around singing. His hair fell in his face, but he didn’t seem to care. 

Throughout the performance, I noticed a few audio issues in which the background music seemed to overtake his voice. Especially in “Moments Silence (Common Tongue),” I wasn’t able to clearly understand the words he was singing. However, it didn’t take away too much from the show.

Although he was only at the third song in the set, it felt like time passed too quickly. Hozier threw in classics like “Jackie and Wilson.” He even changed up the tune of “Someone New”by giving off R&B vibes through slow melodies and seamless harmonies. When performing “From Eden,” he almost seemed angelic with a bright spotlight shining on him.

Throughout his performance, he gave short explanations behind the songs from his new album. Despite the serious vibe Hozier may give off, he showed his more witty side after joking about one song describing a carnivorous bird: “It’s horrifying, and I thought it was an appropriate thing for a love song.”

From singing along to the “woahs” and the “oohs,” the crowd fed off of Hozier’s knack for flawless vocals. When he stepped away from the microphone, the crowd finished singing the verse for him.

People went crazy and iPhones immediately went up once he started singing “Take Me to Church.” Hozier even took the risk of getting pulled by a crazed fan when he slid into the front row of the audience. People shoved their way up to not only get a glimpse of him for their own satisfaction but also for their Snapchat stories.

Although standing for an hour is never a hobby of mine, Hozier made it worthwhile with his thoughtful vocals, pure passion and natural talent. After the crowd chanted for an encore, Hozier walked on stage to perform “Cherry Wine.” The crowd hung on his every word. 

When he closed with “Work Song,” the crowd immediately dropped every worry they had about getting home that night and put all focus on his performance. Hands flew up by the final chorus, and fans belted out the lyrics. Hozier controlled the room by holding out the final note for a few beats longer.

For performing in front of a crowd, Hozier not only completely captures the audience’s attention, but he does so with the fullness of joy he receives from singing and performing. It’s clear he loves the fans, loves the music and loves bringing the two together.