Britain has been gracing Australia's shores with its finest this years, such as Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, The Kooks, The 1975 and more. With a bar set high by his British predecessors, Hozier's performance did not disappoint.
It has been a whirlwind past two years for Hozier, since the release of his breakthrough single Take Me To Church. Having only just released his self-titled debut album in September 2014, he has booked some of the biggest opportunities in the industry, namely performances at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2014, The 2015 Grammy Awards and The 2015 Billboard Music Awards. With these esteemed accolades under his belt, it comes as no surprise that his performance at The Riverstage was of high calibre.
The show introduced RHODES, a London artist with a husky choirboy tone, almost like a grungy James Vincent McMorrow. Regardless of his minimal Australian exposure, the audience lapped up his every lyric and hook. Astoundingly, he only picked up a guitar in early 2013, and has since toured with Sam Smith, London Grammar, Vance Joy and Ben Howard - a true testament to his talent. Throughout his set, it was obvious the impact he was making on the Brisbane crowd, with numerous marriage proposals interrupting his performance. His boyish charm was difficult to dislike, and for an opening act, he built a healthy rapport and a sizeable fan base. There is no doubt that RHODES will return to Down Under after his outstanding reception.
If we were given the chance to cast Roald Dahl's The BFG, we would go straight to Hozier. Not only is this Big Friendly Giant insanely talented, but he's also incredibly humble and down-to-earth on stage. Having attended numerous concerts, Hozier has been the only artist to introduce not only his band, but also his backstage team and those on tech. The lighting designer is to be applauded as they found the perfect balance between being too distracting and just boring. They were able to achieve an incredible light show that accentuated the music whilst creating new worlds on stage - magic.
On a stage that alluded to a basement rehearsal space with rugs and exposed lightbulbs, Hozier belted out his acoustic-rock-ballad tunes and a gospel-rock mashup of Ariana Grande's Problem and Warren G's Regulate. His set featured all the crowd favourites and did not leave a single fan disappointed. In a Week featured vocalist Karen Cowley, who like Hozier, grew up near Wicklow, Ireland - the place in which the song is written about. According to Hozier, "Anytime you hear 'Wicklow Hills', it's usually before or after the words 'a body was found'." Thus, the song is about a pair of lovers who visit the Hills to "do what lovers do best" and are found in a week. Evidently, Hozier is not only an expert songwriter, but is also a captivating storyteller.
Hozier is a big man, with a big heart and voice that needs to be heard by all. Britain, you've done it again.