Featured image and gallery: Georgina Hurdsfield
After a long-awaited return (four whole years), Hozier was finally back in Manchester on Wednesday night headlining the fifth night of Manchester’s Sounds of the City. Selling out Castlefield bowl to its 8000 capacity, it was a warm welcome back for the Irish sensation.
Backed by his eight-piece band, Hozier opens with ‘Eat Your Young’, the title track from his three-song EP released earlier this year, his rich impressive vocals echoing throughout the amphitheatre. The reaction from the crowd is almost overwhelming as they sing back every word.
Next came fan-favourites ‘Jackie and Wilson’ and ‘From Eden’ from his self-titled released in 2019, a multi-platinum selling debut. ‘From Eden’ saw the crowd stare up at Hozier in awe as he sang his beautifully crafted lyrics. Hozier’s soulful vocals and the tightness of his backing band was something magical to witness live and already had us thinking about when will be the next time.
The new singles transpire well live, especially ‘Francesca’ which held the crowd in suspense, the passionate vocals and lyricism seducing the crowd as the powerful kick drum made everyone’s hearts almost skip a beat. Witnessing this anthemic rock track live has us eagerly awaiting Hozier’s third album Unreal Unearth which will be released on Friday 18th August, hoping for more of what has been heard so far.
Up next Hozier’s backing band left the stage leaving him solo for ‘Cherry Wine’ with just Hozier and his acoustic guitar, a delicately heavy song, witnessing it like this live created an intimate feel to this sold-out performance, as friends and families took each other in their arms and swayed to the music.
‘Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene’ was a highlight of the night as the backing band returned on stage for an exciting performance of this more upbeat track. Hozier’s performance of both tracks old and new were flawless and stunningly beautiful.
Goosebumps rose on the crowd’s arms as the set ended with hit track ‘Take Me To Church’ as Hozier encouraged the crowd to sing acapella. The sound was beautiful as the crowd put on their own performance, leaving Hozier and his band looking overwhelmed, a moment that will go down in history for everyone in attendance.
For the encore, Hozier returned with two more tracks, his latest single ‘Unknown / Nth’ which everyone used as an opportunity to light up the amphitheatre with their phone torches creating a beautiful atmosphere, before the last song of the night, ‘Work Song’.
We’re already counting down the days until Hozier is back in Manchester, luckily for us, he will be headlining Manchester’s Albert Hall at the end of the month to a sold out crowd for the release of his upcoming album, and then touring again in the North West in December bringing along with him indie newcomers, The Last Dinner Party. Tickets can be purchased here.
UNREAL UNEARTH TOUR DATES 2023
Sunday 10 December – Liverpool M&S Bank Arena
Monday 11 December – Glasgow OVO Hydro
Wednesday 13 December – Birmingham Resorts World Arena
Friday 15 December – London Wembley OVO Arena
Sunday 17 December – Belfast SSE Arena
Hozier performing at Castlefield Bowl, Manchester