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Hozier Took Us to Church in Tampa: Unearth Tour

Edited by Anna Mengani

Hozier tour poster
Photo Credit: Hozier

May 11, 2024, was the night of the Tampa stop on Irish singer-songwriter Hozier's tour around the United States during his Unreal Unearth tour. He had Allison Russell as his opener, and she was fantastic. Allison brought out her band, and they played a 45-minute set of music that was jazzy, rocky, and everything in between. One of her band members played a clarinet, which I thought was pretty cool. Her voice gave me Macy Gray vibes. It was soothing and powerful all at the same time. Before one of her last songs, she gave a beautiful and powerful monologue about how she grew up in an abusive household and had to deal with the circumstances of that and how, once she had her daughter, she never wanted her to feel that fear at home. Then she goes on to talk about the conflicts going on in Palestine, Congo, and Sudan and how it is unfair for them to live in such horrid conditions and be in constant fear. She wraps the setup by singing a song by the late Sinead O'Connor, who was an activist against conflicts and protests like the current ones happening now in our world. She also sang a quick little song in French. It was beautiful and it wished all the moms of every generation a happy Mother's Day.

Then, not 30 minutes later, the main act, a six-foot-seven tall man hailing from Ireland, graces the stage. Hozier started his show off with songs from his newest album, Unreal Unearth, starting with 'De Selby Part 1' and 'De Selby Part 2'. These are some of my favorite tracks from the new album as they blend together flawlessly, making it feel like one seven-minute song. After the introduction, Hozier stated he wasn't feeling the best and asked the audience to help him sing some of the songs. He said it was better to have the audience help him rather than reschedule and plan a whole new show. (Which I think was a spectacular move on his part).

He played many fan-favorite tracks, like 'Jackie and Wilson,' 'Too Sweet' (His first number-one charting song in the United States), 'Take Me To Church,' and so many others. The show had a few technical difficulties, and during those moments, Hozier began to tell us all facts about bees because, low and behold, he owns a bee farm back in Ireland. Hozier still gave us 110% even when feeling under the weather, making sure to drink plenty of water and hydrate between songs, especially in the hot Florida weather. Hozier made sure to thank every single member of his crew and band by name and what they did before the end of the show, ending it with three encore songs, 'Cherry Wine', 'Nina Cried Power,' which was prefaced with a beautiful speech about freedom and peace in the world, and ending the show with 'Work Song.' The show was fantastic, and I had the best time screaming the lyrics to some of my favorite songs with 20,000 other fans.



Allison Russell


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