The 9:30 Club did not have any problems with turnout on Election Day this month.  The headliner on Nov. 4 was Hozier, 24-year-old Irish singer-songwriter, who exploded in popularity this year. The venue was packed.


The Artist

Hozier was born in County Wicklow, Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day 1990. His father was a local blues musician and Hozier grew up with blues music.

He sang with the Irish choral group, Anúna, from 2009 to 2012, before making his solo debut with the EP, “Take Me To Church,” in 2013. The combination of blues and choral influences can be heard in Hozier’s music and make for a unique sound.

Hozier’s rise to popularity came when the music video for “Take Me To Church” went viral on YouTube. The subject of the video is the discrimination against gays in Russia. It now has over 26,000,000 views. The EP has also gone platinum in both the U.S. and Canada. It was not long before Hozier started performing on shows like Ellen and Saturday Night Live.

The Concert

It is not surprising that with such popularity tickets for the show sold out before the tour even began. The audience erupted as Hozier, towering at more than 6 feet tall, walked on stage with a cup of hot tea, still steaming, in hand. He opened with the mellow song, “Like Real People Do,” and the crowd joined in singing along. An audience member said that his long fingers looked like spider legs plucking the guitar strings.

Hozier took time between songs to chat with the audience. He got a tour of the White House while in DC, and even got to meet Obama’s dogs, he said.  To which an audience member replied, “All you have to do is jump the fence.”

Hozier showed his diversity by performing a cover of Amerie’s “1Thing”, an R&B song from 2005, as the first song of his encore. The audience loved it. At the end of the show, fans handed Hozier hand written notes and clamored for guitar pics and the set list.

Aryam Btew, a George Mason University student, arrived at the 9:30 club five hours early and was the first in line. She has been a fan of Hozier since April and was one of the fans who wrote Hozier a letter. The letter congratulated him on his success, she said. It also suggested he read a book called “The Gay Man’s Tale” as a source of inspiration for songs since it deals with themes similar to that of the “Take Me To Church” video, she said.

Cullen Dechant and Jordan Sokel came from Annapolis, Maryland to see the show. Dechant said the show was angelic. “It had this huge sound to it.”

Hozier’s self-titled album, “Hozier”, was released in September, and a new music video for the song “From Eden,” was released on YouTube yesterday.