Live Review: Hozier, Camden, N.J., July 26, 2019

If you think Hozier’s voice is angelic on his two albums, you wouldn’t believe how heavenly it is live. The best way I can describe the experience is that I had goosebumps the entire hour and a half he was singing. Hozier began his XPoNential Music Festival set with “Would That I,” one of the standouts off new album Wasteland, Baby!. After his 2014 eponymous debut, I honestly didn’t think he was going to make anything that even came close, but he sure proved me wrong with his sophomore LP. Hozier puts his whole heart and soul into his music, so it’s no surprise how successful he’s gotten in relatively short period of time.

With help from his backing band and singers, Hozier managed to get the crowd of 15,000 to sing along to a good number of his songs. He ended the show, of course, with international smash “Take Me To Church,” and the whole audience sang “Amen” as they exited the venue. But I stayed put for a little bit, hoping he would play another song or two, like “Cherry Wine” or “Sedated.” 

XPoNential really killed it this year, especially with Hozier as the opening-night headliner. I’m definitely going to return next year to see what the organizers have on tap for the 27th year of this family-friendly festival.

—Samantha Geiger; photos by Chris Sikich