Exactly a week after Hozier’s unforgettable performance with legendary singer Annie Lennox, he returned to Vancouver for his second sold-out show in four months. The Grammy nominated singer songwriter played a flawless 90 minute set at the Orpheum on Sunday night to a much larger crowd than his October show at the Commodore Ballroom.
Despite all the Grammy hype and his recent success, Hozier seemed just as humble and grateful as he was the first time around. And since he is still touring his first self-titled debut album, the set list resembled his first Vancouver show, with a few surprise add on’s. From his first moment on stage, opening with the very upbeat “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene”, Andrew Hozier-Byrne and his band had everyone on their feet despite the seating arrangement at the venue. The energy from the crowd was kept high, as he started to play “From Eden”- one of his most popular singles and the title of his second EP.
It’s hard to believe the 24 year-old was barely known a year ago. Just before his album release in September of 2014, his name was synonymous with sold-out shows all over the world. But when you see Hozier live, his raw talent, humbleness, and love for music is evident and endearing.
With the majestic background of the Orpheum Theatre, Hozier took the mic alone without his band for a couple of tracks midway through his show. He played the beautiful acoustic “In a Week” with Alana Henderson- his cellist who was also on tour with him in the fall. And while solo on stage, he really showcased his love for blues yet again by covering “Illinois Blues”, a track originally by Skip James.
Playing “Take Me to Church” before his encore was a change to his set list, but it just got the crowd more excited to see what his encore would be- especially since Hozier, who is known for his man-bun, let his hair down for the set.
“I feel like you should be closer,” he said during his encore, as the crowd stood at their seats. “Is that legal? Can we get away with that?” Hozier said. He encouraged people to move closer to the stage, and some ran down from the back rows and he had a crowd right in front of the stage, and some standing in the isles- something never before seen at the Orpheum. Opening his encore with “Cherry Wine”, he told tales of Ireland and places that inspired his song writing, before getting into an interesting cover of Ariana Grande’s “Problem” mixed in with Warren G’s “Regulate”.
He ended his set with “Work Song”, and like a theatrical play, the band got together and bowed to the crowd. He took the time to shake hands with fans in the front row before exiting the stage.
Although it was a larger venue, Hozier still played an intimate show that had everyone on their feet singing. And with his quick rise to fame, it will be interesting which venue the Irish singer plays in next time he’s in Vancouver.
Feature Image: @Cnd0gal