Hozier takes Benedum Center to church | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Hozier takes Benedum Center to church

click to enlarge Hozier - PHOTO : RACHEL WRIGHT
Photo : Rachel Wright
There’s a reason why Hozier’s May 26 show at the Benedum Center sold out shortly after it went on sale. Born Andrew Hozier-Byrne, the Irish musician radiates infectious energy on stage, captivating both fans and those dragged to the show by friends, family, or significant others.

As soon as Hozier’s soles touched the corner of the stage, the crowd rose to its feet and most continued to stand for the entirety of the show. While this was endearing – that people were that excited to see Hozier – it was a little inconsiderate. The Benedum Center is a seated venue. So, those located in any row beside the front row had to either stand as well, or sit and not be able to see.

Luckily, Hozier gave little reason to want to sit. Opening with “Would That I,” from his 2019 release, Wasteland, Baby! (the album for which the tour was named), he warmed up the audience with chanting and clapping in time to the love song. Enthusiasm spread like wildfire and only dissipated as fans exited the venue at the end of the night.

Similar to the hit song that catapulted Hozier into the stoplight (“Take Me To Church”), his performance was like attending mass. During “Wasteland, Baby!,” “Shrike,” and “From Eden” there was a feeling of shared love in the Benedum – the crowd kissing, holding hands, and swaying along to the beat.

Of course, Hozier ended the night with the international breakout track, bringing the church-like experience to a head, as fans sang along and shouted "Amen" loud enough to cleanse their souls.

Seeing Hozier was far from a waste, baby. It was something close to spiritual.

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