by Andi Bricklin
Saturday night local hipsters will fill the Trocadero to be mesmerized by Irish singer-songwriter Andrew Hozier-Byrne, better known to most people as just Hozier. Did you get a ticket? No? Too bad. The show sold out long before his debut album, Hozier, was even released in the US. Okay, so you’ll catch him in March when he’s back in Philly at the Electric Factory. Guess what? That show sold out pretty quickly too.
“It’s cool,” you think, “I’ll just go on Stubhub”…WRONG! 0, that’s ZERO, tickets left for Saturday’s show. If you want to see him in March you’re looking at around $87 (more than double the face value). And guess what else? Hozier doesn’t want you paying that much.
“I hope no one ever has to pay that much to see me perform,” he says, adding, “I’m still processing it.”
If you haven’t heard his break out hit song, “Take Me to Church”, you’ve probably been living under or a rock, or maybe you just woke up from a coma. With over 500,000 video views on YouTube, over 15 million streams (more than “Drunk in Love” by Beyonce, Pharrell’s “Come Get It Bae”, and T.I.’s “No Mediocre”), invites to SNL, Letterman, and Ellen, the soundtrack for the latest Beats commercial featuring Kobe Bryant, and even a testament of praise from the one and only Taylor Swift, Hozier has been an extremely busy artist. So when I finally heard the words, “Andi, you’re on with Hozier, you have 15 minutes,” I was beyond thrilled.
Headed to his next show in Colorado, Hozier’s not 100% sure where he is. “Somewhere in Idaho,” he guesses, “I think, a lot of green and trees.” Sounds like a familiar scene for a lad from Wicklow, Ireland (who was also born on St. Patrick’s Day). Since his arrival in May, this has been his longest tour in the States so he must be getting a little homesick by now, right? “I do miss Irish butter.” It’s the little things in life, and honestly even his speaking voice is hypnotic. So while I’m making small talk and chit chatting, my 15 minutes is dwindling away.
It’s shortly after his appearance on Saturday Night Live, and he looked to be a little freaked out. “It was a dream come true,” he says. Hozier goes on to explain that they give you a dress rehearsal and then about an hour later, “It’s live-live, I was completely freaked out!” It was a great opportunity for him, and his performance was flawless with both “Take Me to Church” and “Angel of Small Death & the Codeine Scene”.
As powerful and poignant as “Take Me to Church” is, Hozier has an album full of amazing songs; each one just as gripping and spellbinding as the next. Growing up in Ireland, Hozier was exposed to a lot of traditional folklore and music which is evident in his songwriting style. A big influence for him was Tom Waits. “I just thought he was coolest,” he says. Many would agree, but Hozier also adds that he grew up listening to Irish singer/songwriter Paul Brady. A 70’s artist whose songs, Hozier says, have “lovely guitar playing.”
“I listen to a lot of old music,” he says. “It’s amazing to see how a song remains relevant and that something can exist a lot longer than you do.” #Chills, and the end of my 15 minutes.
For you lucky skunks that got tickets to his upcoming shows in Philly, enjoy the excitement of seeing him in these semi-intimate venues, because his next visit will be to the stadiums. The rest of us will have to get our Hozier fix via the intimate solitude of our headphones.