By Hayley Holmes
Friday March 20th the House Of Blues in Dallas was vibrantly alive with the sounds of George Ezra and Hozier. Both artists rocked it on the stage and there is no doubt that the crowd agreed and was just as impressed as I was.
First up was England-native George Ezra. Ezra opened with wildly upbeat “Cassy O,” wowing the crowd with the sounds of his signature guitar and raw vocals. He also performed other songs from his debut album “Wanted On Voyage” including: “Blame It On Me,” “Listen To The Man,” “Barcelona,” “Song 6” and “Did You Hear The Rain.” He rounded out his set with the hit single “Budapest.” The crowd loved his set and his dry humor in between songs. I even heard someone say, “Wow he was really good I wish he was performing longer.” His vocals were identical to what is on the album and each track is so evidently well written that there’s no way anyone could deny how talented he is. He had a similar vibe to a mix of Ed Sheeran and Hozier, which was only proven further after Hozier performed. George Ezra was so impressive live and Hozier made a great choice in bringing him along on tour.
Shortly after George wrapped up, Grammy-nominated Hozier took the stage. He began his set with the climactic “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene.” He then transitioned into “From Eden” and “Jackie and Wilson.” With each song he demonstrated his raw vocal and lyrical ability. It was so simple but so enjoyable. When he performs in front of you he doesn’t seem like “Grammy nominated artist Hozier”. He is a simple Irishman who lets his music do the talking. He was even simple with his flannel, jeans, and trendy “man-bun.” From there he moved to tracks with a bit more somber vibe. He sang his tracks “Someone New,” “To Be Alone,” “In A Week” and “It Will Come Back.” Hozier then did an impressive rendition of Skip James’s “Illinois Blues.” After the cover he performed his tracks “Like Real People Do,” “Arsonist’s Lullaby,” my personal favorite “Foreigner’s God” and “Sedated.” Then, to wrap up the first part of his set until the encore, he performed the Grammy-nominated “Take Me To Church.” The whole crowd belted out every word to the track and the House Of Blues was electric with the sound of voices.
When Hozier came back on stage for the encore, he opened up with another one of my favorites, “Cherry Wine.” He then sang his track “Run” followed by a cover of Amerie’s “1 Thing.” Finally he ended the night with his powerful track “Work Song.”
The concert was easily one of the most simplistic and impressive shows I’ve ever been to. Not only did George Ezra surpass all expectations I had, Hozier lived up to his awards. I listen to Ezra’s music religiously and I can say that he sounded the exact same if not better live. Both guys proved that simple is sometimes better. The raw vocal talent from both artists is something that will continue to take them far. While Hozier’s tour has ended, if you have a chance to check out George Ezra on his headlining tour I absolutely recommend it.