Live Review: Hozier, Daniel James

9/06 – King Tut’s

The most powerful moment of the night comes from singer-songwriter and support act Daniel James.

During the last chorus of his very last song he suddenly retreats from the safety of the microphone. What initially appears as rare silence reveals Daniel humming a low melody. Admiring his bravery to create this unique moment, the audience is compelled to join in for several bars before Daniel finally says good-bye.  Unforgettable.

The performance of Hozier is good.  It’s not great.  He begins slightly shy but warms up to the room, even telling a few stories and sharing a joke as the set goes on.  The relationship of Hozier with his band mates is never quite resolved.  He does not appear strong enough to be a solo artist with anonymous musicians backing him up. And yet the musicians on stage don’t act as equal bandmates. In this case, the amibiguity is distracting.

The sold out crowd at King Tut’s on this Monday night wait impatiently for Hozier to play his most well known song entitled “Take Me To Church.” When he begins the chords, dozens of cell phones materialize to capture video, and Hozier is immersed with the energy the crowd has been waiting to release throughout the whole night. Hozier could be a great performer when the crowd is alive quite like this for every breath, movement and song he performs whilst on stage. But he has to go from good to great in this modern era of fantastic music.

He’s young. He has music industry support. They want you to hear his new single “Sedated.” Yet I am curious if it’d be a wiser to focus their investment on his live performance.

In today’s climate, great songs like “Take Me To Church” fade quickly as new great songs replace them, but great performances created through moments such as Daniel James daring us to sing will stand the test of time.

[Micah van Dijk]

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