Hozier returned to the Windy City for the first of two sold-out headlining shows at the iconic Chicago Theatre.
It seems that Chicago can’t get enough of Hozier, with this being his third show in the city since August. Whenever tickets for his shows go on sale, you have to be quick off the mark to secure them as they sell out almost immediately. Each show and venue increases in size. We caught his show in September last year at the Riviera Theatre, and now he is selling out the Chicago Theatre, not once, but twice. That is an impressive feat in anyone’s books.
The moment Hozier stepped out onto the stage, the ample theater was filled with screams from the adulating fans. The screams soon turned into singing as the audience joined the seven-piece band as the backing vocalists for the evening. If ever there’s a show that will get you out of your Sunday evening work-dreading slump, it’s this one. His songs invoke a full body and sensory relaxation akin to checking yourself into a spa.
The evening began with the mesmerizing “As It Was” before kicking things up a notch with the foot-stomping “Dinner & Diatribes.” It is impossible to attend a Hozier show and not find yourself trying to harmonize with Rachel Beauregard and Kristen Rogers while clapping your hands along to the contagious beat. It’s impossible to make it through “Almost (Sweet Music)” without finding yourself clapping and clicking along.
This show had a very different feel to it than the one at The Riviera last year, purely due to the larger scale of everything. The production level was much higher with a full-sized video screen across the back of the stage which had various videos and animations projected onto it throughout the night. None of it was over the top and did not take away from the music one bit, but was very in keeping with the surroundings.
The Chicago crowd was teased with two new songs which are yet to be released. During the performance of these two songs, Hozier asked that everyone put down their phones and not video them, to which they respectfully obliged. Instead, they got to take in the new music for the first time without having to watch through the phone screen of the person in front of them. It’s great to hear that despite the relentless touring he has been embarking upon, that new music is already in the works. While we have been completely spoilt by the number of appearances he’s made in the city over the last 14 months, here’s hoping it won’t be too long before he’s back to tour the next album.
Hozier must be pinching himself these days, having someone like Mavis Staples sing on his song “Nina Cried Power,” to selling out shows of this size on consecutive nights. It must be incredible to hear a venue of that size sing lyrics that you’ve written back to you. At times throughout the night, you could see him take a step back from the microphone and smile to himself, clearly taking in the moment. It’s fantastic to see an artist go from strength to strength and this is truly one of those moments.
The tour continues on throughout November, with all shows now showing as sold-out. If you were lucky enough to get yourself a ticket, you are in for a treat! We are excited to see what 2020 brings for Hozier – hopefully it will include some more Midwest shows.HOZIER
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