Hozier at Metro in Chicago, IL

Hozier performed a pop-up show at Chicago’s Metro as part of his limited run of dates for the Eat Your Young Tour.

In March this year, tickets went on sale for Hozier’s Unreal Unearth North American Tour which will be making a stop at Northerly Island in September. The show sold-out in an incredibly short space of time which has to be some sort of record. For those who weren’t lucky enough to snag those tickets, they were given a second chance when it was announced, just a month later, that there would be a pop-up show at Metro as part of their 40th-anniversary celebrations. The mini-tour is in support of Hozier’s EP Eat Your Young and tickets could only be purchased in person. Needless to say, it was another sold-out show. 

The excitement was palpable as the Metro was packed to bursting point. Those who were lucky enough to secure themselves a ticket to this show could not wait for the Irishman to take to the stage. The moment the lights dipped indicating Hozier was about to take to the stage, a roar went up from the packed-in crowd. You’d be excused for thinking that the size of the band might be scaled down for this smaller-than-usual stage, but that was not the case as he was still joined by his full eight-piece band. 

It’s been almost four years since Hozier was last in Chicago celebrating the release of Wasteland, Baby! He is not known for banging out one album after another. Being a fan means you have to be patient as you await the release of new music. But when it happens, you fully embrace it with both arms. With the release of the recent three-song EP, and now the promise of the latest album Unreal Unearth coming on August 18, the anticipation is building. This show was more than a release for that built-up excitement. If anything, it only stoked the fire all the more. Due to this being a smaller-than-usual venue for his shows, those who were lucky enough to get a ticket clearly appreciated just how fortunate they were. Throughout the show, there were shouts of support and adoration from numerous fans which were all met with a coy reaction from the man himself. 

To help scratch that itch for hearing the new material performed live, the show began with “Eat Your Young” which received almost deafening cheers. The audience sang along just as whole-heartedly to the new songs as they did to the old faithfuls. Noting that there was a tight curfew in place for the show, causing the audience to boo at this news, Hozier tried to limit the chatter in between the songs in an attempt to get through as much of the material as possible. There was a brief pause in the set when someone in the crowd seemed to have collapsed, as people were asked to make way to allow them to get the help they needed. 

Despite there being a tight schedule for the evening, they still managed to get through seven songs from his debut album, five from Wasteland, Baby!, all three songs from the latest EP, and a yet-to-be-released song. It was difficult to work out which songs the audience favored as every single one seemed to receive the same appreciative screams as the one before it. His solo performance of “Cherry Wine” was certainly one of the stand-outs of the evening. “Jackie and Wilson” and “Dinner & Diatribes” both had the audience dancing and clapping along to the groove. “Take Me To Church,” which we hope will always have a home on his setlist, took us into the encore, with “Work Song” slowing things down as the evening came to an end. 

This limited run of North American dates have a select few left before Hozier heads over to Europe. If you weren’t lucky enough to snag tickets to these dates, he will be back Stateside in September. There are only three dates scheduled at the moment, but since the new album’s release date was only just announced this week, hopefully, there will be more dates coming soon. 

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About Kirstine Walton 383 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!