Arts, Off Campus

Hozier Sings a Set of Acceptance at Boston Calling

A sunset painted the Boston sky, setting the scene perfectly for Hozier’s Boston Calling performance. The romantic and serene atmosphere, coupled with Hozier’s messages of love and acceptance, set the tone for his set. 

Rather than using the entirety of his 90-minute set for music, Hozier dedicated almost eight minutes to a speech detailing the importance of kindness, love, and peace. 

“I just think that these small acts of kindness, these small acts of love and solidarity, I genuinely think they hold the world together,” Hozier said. 

(Featured Images Courtesy of Taylor Hill)

Hozier spoke passionately about progress in American history, specifically concerning women’s rights, the LGBTQ+ community, divestment, and war. His speech branched out with connections to Irish history, protests, and current international events. 

“And in small ways every single day we show up and we’re like, ‘I love you, here I am. I’m not gonna abandon you,’” Hozier said. “Genuinely, I think when people do that at the same time, towards one cause, I think history is saved forever. And to me, it has nothing too complicated about it. I’m talking about protest and its legacy.”

Hozier opened his set with “Eat Your Young,” a song whose lyrics are notably anti-war, corresponding with Hozier’s earlier words. Dulled by a quiet mic, Hozier’s lyrics and vocals during the song’s performance were slightly drowned out by his band.

As Hozier transitioned to a more heartbreaking track, “Cherry Wine,” his band exited the stage. Hozier’s soft vocals created an intimacy reflected in the crowd’s hushed echo of his lyrics. 

Before singing “Would That I,” Hozier succeeded in uniting the crowd in a call and response as he taught them a series of notes to the song. During the chorus of the song, the crowd participated in the vocals, acting as background vocalists for Hozier. 

Hozier then performed “Too Sweet,” from his latest album Unreal Unearth: Unheard, an extension of Unreal Unearth. Afterward, he thanked the crowd for listening to “Too Sweet” and helping him achieve his first No. 1 chart-topping song. 

As the last of the light in the sky disappeared, Hozier concluded his set with his most popular older song, “Take Me to Church.” While singing, he held up an LGBTQ+ pride flag and wrapped it around his mic stand, prompting amplified cheers from his listeners. 

The main screen behind him played the “Take Me to Church” music video while the stage lights shifted from deep blue to red during the chorus. The instrumental finale of the song built upon the intensity of the outro.  

“Take Me to Church” was the perfect finale to Hozier’s set, not only due to its popularity, but also because of its message. The song ironically comments on churches that impose shame upon its members, but presents a hauntingly beautiful tone. 

“Take me to church / I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies / I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife,” Hozier sings. 

The larger message of Hozier’s song was complemented by his overarching message throughout the evening, reminding his audience of the large impacts of small acts of kindness. 

“The love I see in this crowd today, I think is powerful,” Hozier said. “These small things are so f—–g powerful. Thank you so much.”

May 31, 2024

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