Photos and Review by Emily Gringorten
Hozier brought the Unreal Earth tour to a sold out Bill Graham Civic Auditorium last Friday, on October 27, 2023. The Irish singer-songwriter, born Andrew Hozier-Byrne, stole all of our hearts as he effortlessly cruised his way through an impressive setlist comprising new releases and old favorites.
Grammy award winning Madison Cunningham kicked off the night around 7:45 with a beautiful and passionate set that set the tone perfectly. She shared that opening for Hozier has been on her bucket list for a very long time, and that she was so grateful to have the opportunity to join this tour. Then, the band entered the dimly lit stage, followed by Hozier who placed himself under a single dramatic spotlight. He began with the slow instrumental “De Selby (Part 1)” before jumping into the high energy “De Selby (Part 2),” both from his newest 2023 release Unreal Earth. Next was “Jackie and Wilson” and “From Eden” from his classic self-titled album Hozier. The energy from the crowd was off the charts, and fans sang every word loud and clear from the barricade to the top row of the balcony.
The set design was stunning, featuring life size trees hanging upside down from the ceiling, LED screen covered platforms for the band to stand on, and striking nature themed visuals on a huge screen behind them, all tailored to the theme of Unreal Earth. Hozier constantly emphasized how grateful he was to the fans who continue to support him and show up to watch him play. You could tell he really cares about them because he stopped the show three times to make sure that everyone in the crowd was okay and that those in distress got the help they needed.
The rest of the setlist included a good mix of songs from all his projects, highlights being “Like Real People Do,” “Would That I,” and “Eat Your Young,” my personal favorite. I’ve never heard an audience sing together so beautifully as when he let us sing the chorus of “Cherry Wine,” one of the first songs he ever released. After performing his smash hit “Take Me To Church,” he left the stage briefly before returning for a 3 song encore that concluded with Madison Cunningham joining him on-stage for another classic, “Work Song.”
Hozier is an incredible talent that you simply must see live. Between his impressive stage presence, unreal vocals, and insightful anecdotes about his songs, his show is the complete package. The Unreal Earth Tour has a few more US dates this week before he heads to Europe for another full tour, and if you have the chance to check him out, definitely take it!