Concert review: Dawes & Hozier (June 16, 2015 @ Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus OH)
It was a warm night in Columbus, Ohio, as Los Angeles band Dawes took the stage, opening for Irish singer/songwriter Hozier. The openers played for about 45 minutes to an enthusiastic, mostly young crowd at the LC Pavilion. Their folksy brand of rock was competent, but in the end mostly forgettable. New to the band was Duane Betts, the son of legendary southern rock guitarist Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers. He joined Dawes as a touring member last month, and his warm Les Paul sound is very reminiscent of his father’s.
Dawes has been active for several years, and the group is currently touring to support All Your Favorite Bands, released two weeks ago on Hub Records. The band ended their set with the title track from that album, a nice tune full of nostalgia: “I hope that life without a chaperone is what you thought it’d be / I hope your brother’s El Camino runs forever / I hope the world sees the same person that you always were to me / and may all your favorite bands stay together.”
After Dawes finished, it was time for the main attraction. The popular blues musician Hozier took the stage at 9:20 p.m. to a thunderous response from the Columbus crowd, launching into “Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene” to start the show.
Highlights from the show included “To Be Alone,” which featured great crowd participation, “Jackie and Wilson,” “In A Week,” a duet he sings with Alana Henderson in concert (the studio version features Karen Cowley), and the hit “Take Me To Church.” Following a short break in which the crowd worked itself into a frenzy, Hozier returned to the stage and performed three more songs, including a cover of Ariana Grande‘s “Problem.”
I was not sure what to expect going into this show. I was not very familiar with Hozier past “Take Me To Church,” and honestly I was a bit tired of that song. I listened to his album twice on the way to the show, and was not expecting the energy level to be very high. To my surprise, the live show was grittier and more energetic than the studio recording, and made the trip well worth it. If I have the opportunity to see Hozier again, I definitely will. He puts on a great show, and even the slower numbers were full of intensity.
My only complaint: the length of the show. Hozier was finished at 10:40 p.m., only an hour and twenty minutes after his show began. With only one album under his belt so far, I know it must be difficult to stretch that into a two-hour set even with a couple of cover songs thrown in, but I could not help but be disappointed that it was over when he left the stage. Hozier definitely left me wanting more.