By Meliza Sestito
Photography by Matt Atherton
Hozier’s raspy, soulful voice weaved through the crowd of 3,500 on the first night of his highly anticipated sold out UK tour: “I’ve been looking forward to being back in this room with you Manchester.”
Back in 2013, Hozier exploded onto the charts with five times-platinum single Take Me To Church, which stayed at the top of the US Hot Rock Charts for 23 consecutive weeks.
Considering Hozier hasn’t released an album since 2014, Manchester’s O2 Apollo was bursting at the seams with ecstatic fans. A true testament to the likeability of this artist.
With a falsesetto that any artist would be enviable of and a stage presence which is a hybrid mix of a country artist and a rock star, Hozier absolutely blew everyone away.
He was joined on stage by a large band of a violinist, a drummer, a bassist, a pianist and two backing singers who all brought their own personality to the show.
Shadows of Hozier framed him at each side of the theatre walls, giving the room a hauntingly poetic feeling.
The show finished with brand new track Movement as well as the single that started it all, Take Me to Church; both met with roaring applause and a choir of 3,500 voices.
The part that blew me away was Hozier’s cover of ‘Say My Name’ by Destiny’s Child. A world away from Hozier’s musicality but it felt natural and original.
Overall, Hozier put on an incredible performance for the sold-out crowd and baffled me with just how raw and perfect his voice sounds live.