Hozier Plays "First Time" For The First Time in Show Me State

Wanna feel old? Hozier took us to church ten years ago. Gas was $3.60 cents a gallon and dropping, Miley was riding her wrecking ball, and Daft Punk was getting lucky winning Grammys.

At the same time, the 6'6" handsome Irish tenor who was born Andrew John Hozier-Byrnex was poised to release "Take Me To Church" on 9/13/13. The complicated tune written and recorded in his parents' attic would go 4x platinum, top the Spotify charts, and do pretty pretty well on YouTube where it's been viewed 769 million times.

The song wasn't really about church, but more about how falling in love and being in its throes is tantamount to death - or mighty close. And also how the biggest church on the globe should take it easy on the homophobia. But we'll just call it an anti-love song.

Ironically, Ms. Anti Hero was hogging the top spot in the 2014 charts and Hozier's debut single peaked at #2 behind Tay's "Blank Space."

"Take Me to Church" must have seeped into Swift's psyche because a few years later when she wrote "Don't Blame Me" for 2017's Reputation, people claimed they coulda sworn they'd heard bits of it before.

Here we are now in 2023 and Hozier is touring the world supporting his third studio album, Unreal Unearth, which was definitely not written nor recorded in his parents' house.

Judging from the mixed reviews, perhaps Hozier will find himself back in the shack one day, as Weezer, put it. But for now we have an eclectic amalgam of themes, sounds, and storylines.

Is Unreal Unearth a soundtrack for Dante's Inferno? Is it a magical radio changing its channels every few minutes? Or is it as Rolling Stone suggests, "a to-hell-and-back personal journey full of greed, insatiability, desire, and euphoria," whose "result is his best album yet"?

Attendees to the new tour better be on board with the new material as it comprises 43% of the set. Four tracks come off his sophomore LP, Wasteland, Baby! and the remaining 8 tunes come from his self-titled debut.

Speaking of debuts, the good people of Missouri were treated to two live-debuts Saturday night (9/9) at Saint Louis Music Park.

The 4,500 in attendance got to hear the lush, pleading "Who We Are," that shows off Hozier's range as a vocalist.

He also blessed the Midwesterners with a live debut of "First Light," a song that exemplifies how good his touring band is.

Fans of this dreamy, emotional, full, live sound can catch Hozier as he continues to wind his way through North America through the fall ended up at the end of the rainbow, the Hollywood Bowl on November 4.

Grab your tickets from his website. But heads up, most of his US dates are already sold out. So light a candle the next time you're in church that your luck will change.

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Last updated: 25 Sep 2023, 06:07 Etc/UTC