Hozier Crosses The Atlantic Bringing The Heart and Soul of Irish Rock To The State Theatre


There aren’t many things you need to put on a good show. Chemistry on stage with bandmates, a strong opener, pulling out discography hits, interacting with the crowd etc. Hozier, the Irish born singer/songwriter brought with him all those things and so much more.

The State Theater welcomed Hozier on the 2nd of June. Opening the night was family band Bailen. The young New York band made up of siblings Daniel, David, and Julia has been playing music together since they were children. Raised by classically trained parents the band was able to grow up in an environment where their musical expressions and talents could grow. The band had a chemistry that would be unattainable for any band not comprised of siblings. They harmonized together beautifully and brought emotion and power to the stage with every song they performed. The band has just released their debut album “Thrilled to Be Here.” It is comprised of songs about love, heartbreak, loss, and growing up. The album was produced by experienced award-winning composer John Congleton, who is known for his work with St. Vincent, Swans, and personal band The Paper Chase. Congleton was able to help the band express their weirdness and creativity in the recordings making this trios Indie Folk album a unique and powerful listening experience worth checking out.

After Bailen’s 40 minute or so set it was time for Hozier to take stage. Fog machines began rolling and the crowd made up mainly of young girls began to scream. I definitely was not expecting the screaming fan girl experience, but it helped to make casual Hozier listeners, such as myself, more pumped up for his set to begin. The eight-piece band took stage around 9 o’clock opening with “Would That I” a song off 2019 sophomore album “Wasteland, Baby!” Front man Andrew Hozier Byrne captivated the audience with his vocal capabilities, genuine enjoyment, and in all honesty, his good looks. He carries with him a mystical personality of sorts. Reserved but kind. Simple but powerful. Each member of the band worked as back up vocalists while still playing their individual instruments. The 20-song set was comprised mainly of songs off the new album. But Hozier did not fail to break out favorites from their debut album such as “Jackie and Wilson” “Take Me to Church” and “Cherry Wine.”

While the State Theater is a formal seated venue it didn’t stop fans from rushing the stage to dance up close to their idol. With the screaming girls and Hozier’s deep songs filled with messages of the universe, our place in it, and how we can navigate it, I couldn’t help but be reminded of George Harrison. The two even look similar. By the end of the night, I confess that I too was a screaming fan girl. For those of you who don’t know much about Hozier and his work I highly recommend checking it out. And for the people out their who have the means to attend one of his shows, please do so. You will not regret a single second of it.

Setlist: Would That I / Dinner and Diatribes / Nina Cried Power / Someone New / Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene / Nobody / Talk / From Eden / Wasteland, Baby! / Shrike / No Plan / To Be Alone / Almost (Sweet Music) / Jackie and Wilson / Moment’s Silence / Movement / Take Me to Church

Encore: Cherry Wine / To Noise Making / Work Song