Unfortunately, the organization at the Gasometer, the concert venue was less than ideal. We were queuing for a good long while before one entrance to the concert hall where nothing budged for at least 30 minutes. After that time somebody from the organization team told us that we should head to the other entrance which was empty. Why they didn’t give us that information before, nobody knows. In any case, after we headed there, it took us another 15 minutes to get in and yet another 10 minutes to check our coats. By the time we finally got to the stage itself, Rhodes was done playing and Hozier was about to start.
I had wanted to see Hozier basically since I heard Take Me to Church for the first time on The Leftovers. Shortly after I was introduced to his music, he played at the Frequency Festival in Austria and I was so tempted to go to the Festival almost exclusively for him, but in the end my common sense prevailed and I figured, he’d make his way here in a single concert at some point. And I only had to wait 18 months and there he finally was.
So you can see that my expectations were built up quite high. Fortunately Hozier had no problem at all with fulfilling them and making me forget to logistics clusterfuck with which we started the night.
If you had asked me before the live performance, I would have said that Hozier’s music is pretty calm and soft. But when he played it live, everything got an almost furious energy and such an intensity that it seemed much harder than the studio recordings – which is not a bad thing, although it did take me by surprise. In any case, I had goosebumps more than once and took away a new appreciation of certain songs that I liked before, but listened to with a fresh ear now. That was especially true for It Will Come Back.
Hozier also played two cover versions, Young Americans by David Bowie and Blackbird by The Beatles, which I enjoyed very much as well. (I was hoping he would play his cover version of the Arctic Monkey’s Do I Wanna Know, but no such luck.)
In any case, it was a brilliant concert that did what the best concerts do: make you listen to the songs like you’re hearing them for the first time, falling in love all over again with the music. When he comes back to Vienna, I will be there.