Hozier – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019

Hozier – Live @ Spark Arena, Auckland 2019

I first heard Hozier about four years ago when his seminal hits Take Me To Church & Someone New were blowing up and remembering being impressed with the young Irish musician’s deft Blues infused guitar style and potent songwriting skills.

WORDS BY WAL RIED – PHOTOS BY BRAD HOLLAND

Sporting the same bogan 90s hair cut as Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder or our own TV personality Jon Bridges, thankfully was not the fashion harbinger of bad news. In fact, it had no bearing whatsoever on the tall Irish singer/songwriter from County Wicklow’s music. “It’s so good to fuckin’ see you”, he let rip, commenting that from one “Island Nation” to another, New Zealand had it ‘going on’.

His looming figure on stage belaying his hulking 1.96 metre frame, he curated his band of fellow musicians through a punchy and moody set, including newish track single Nina Cried Power featuring Gospel legend Mavis Staples (legacy of artists like Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell & Billie Holiday) to his international breakthrough Take Me to Church, which amazingly has been certified multi-platinum in several countries.

With the occasional spoken word in between, he received rapturous applause, even when raising his hand or playing the guitar. Astutely attuned to the Insta-generation crowd in attendance, he took it all in his stride. His phenomenal band kept up perfectly, matching him song for song, never skipping a beat.

The funky animated jokester Alex Ryan on bass, stealing the hat off band mate fiddler/guitarist Suzanne Santo and placing it on drummer Rory Doyle, was testament to the closeness and kinship of the group. This was no more evident than at the end when Hozier read a ‘thank you’ list of cast and crew while making a toast to signal the end of the Tour, before gloriously ending on Work.

Hozier’s grasp on Soul music is comparable to Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers/Steely Dan fame, maybe even a touch of 80s Irish R&B group The Commitments – acute and intuitive, his affinity for Soul/Blues music, garnishing the young artist the title “The Van Morrison of our times.”

Hopefully next time here returns he’ll have that haircut sorted, then I’ll have something else to write about. Good tunes, good times. Irish Soul all the way.

Set list

 Would That I

 Dinner & Diatribes

 Nina Cried Power

 Someone New

 Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene

 To Be Alone

 No Plan

 From Eden

 Wasteland, Baby!

 Shrike

 Almost (Sweet Music)

 Jackie and Wilson

 Nobody

 Moment’s Silence (Common Tongue)

 Movement

 Take Me to Church

Encore:

 Cherry Wine

 Work

Like our review?

Why not shout us a coffee 🙂

Loopmasters Sample Music Sale

Related posts

Ben Harper – Live @ The Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth 2020

Ben Harper - Live @ The Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth 2020

Imagine; Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, The Bowl of Brooklands, thousands of fans, and the first lot of bucketing rain Taranaki has seen all summer. That is what I and thousands of fans got to be a part of last night, and man, what an experience.WORDS BY KJ PANUIBen Harper and...

Alice Cooper – Live @ Trusts Event Centre, Auckland 2020

Alice Cooper - Live @ Trusts Event Centre, Auckland 2020

Alice Cooper and Band show how it’s done. Classic Rock can be the coolest genre to enjoy live. With twin guitars, great drumming, thrilling bass lines, awesome vocals, lights, backdrops and so on. Even better if the artist or band has some good old classic songs to bring back memories and to...

Elton John – Live @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland 2020

Elton John - Live @ Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland 2020

Check out some of the highlights by music photographer Brad Holland capturing some brilliant shots from Sir Elton Johns 2020 NZ tour.