Monday night saw the GRAMMY-nominated Irish folk juggernaut Hozier make his way to the intimate Clive Davis Theater at the GRAMMY Museum for a conversation and brief performance in DTLA. Hozier was making the pit stop as part of the end of his latest tour which wraps up this Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl in support of his latest incredible record Unreal Unearth, which dropped in August.
Hozier was joined by moderator Adam Weissler for a conversation that covered a wide array of topics, mostly centered around his inspirations for the new record. Despite the seriousness of the conversation at times, Hozier had the crowd in stitches at times. He even took a couple fan questions that were written down. But it was great to listen to such an esteemed artist talk through his process and even detail how hard it was to find inspiration during the lockdown period — as it was for so many of us.
Once the conversation wrapped up, Hozier took to the stage armed with just an acoustic guitar and his band director Alex Ryan on the piano. Alex Ryan has been with Hozier since the very beginning of him playing live shows, pretty much.
Hozier started out by saying he was going to play an old one, to which the crowd cheered. “I hope that isn’t a vote of [lack of] confidence in the new stuff,” he laughed before delivering a beautiful stripped down version of “Cherry Wine”.
Hozier followed that up with a rendition of Unreal Unearth album cut “Butchered Tongue”, a song which he had only played twice prior to this. He told a story about how the song was about the contrast between visiting all these amazing cities all over the world as part of his job as a musician but also recognizing how much of the land he visits was once inhabited by people who are no longer here, and their languages have all but disappeared in many instances.
“I hate to have to leave,” Hozier said as he approached the final song of the night. “Then don’t!” shouted one fan to many laughs as he got ready to play “Unknown/Nth” from the new record.
Seeing Hozier in such a small room like this was a real treat and in fact had me thinking this is what it must have been like to see Jeff Buckley at the Sin-é Coffee House in NYC’s East Village. Thankfully for all of us, Hozier is still churning out new tunes as he begins his second decade as a top-level musician.
Many in the crowd on Monday night are surely also those who will be in attendance at the Hollywood Bowl this Saturday night as Hozier closes out his big tour with support from Madison Cunningham. If you’re not there, you should try and find a ticket — but beware, they are sold out!
CHECK OUT THE GRAMMY MUSEUM’S UPCOMING CALENDAR OF EVENTS HERE.
Words by Mark Ortega
Photos by Dara Feller