Hozier rolled through Philadelphia this past week to play a sold out show at The Fillmore as part of his latest tour and I feel lucky to have been able to finally catch him. Joining him on stage was opener Hudson Taylor, and both acts filled the room with performances that displayed an amazing sense of musicianship.

Performing first was Hudson Taylor, a folk duo from Ireland who brought along a five piece band with them. Both Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor have wonderful and energetic stage presences, as well as very contagious smiles. The duo started a sing along during the tune “Don’t Know Why” and had audience members clapping throughout the performance. The band presented a great mix of different instruments throughout the set, such as violin and flute, which provided different tones from your average concert set. All the members of the backing band as well as the duo worked really well with each other on stage and were able to produce a well-blended sound. There were a lot of really beautiful harmonies to be heard during “Pray for the Day”, a song that also included the violin and harmonica. Hudson Taylor provided the audience with a great opening set.

Hozier opened his set next with the track “Like Real People Do” before performing the title track off his new EP “Nina Cried Power” (recently release in September). Throughout the performance there was something gentle yet so powerful about his voice. His vocals are spot on pitch wise and there is a sultry quality to them. The performance of “Cherry Wine” as a solo acoustic provided stunning dynamic contrast from tracks such as “Jackie and Wilson” and “Angel of Small Death & The Codeine Scene”. Hozier’s performance sent many members of the audience off to their own worlds, which was quite a beautiful thing to watch.

When I wasn’t off in my own world, it was touching to be able to witness other people’s “moments” during songs such as “Shrike” when a couple in front of me shared a heartwarming dance, moving with each other as if the rest of the world didn’t matter. The entire atmosphere of the show was uplifting. Hozier performed his hit single “Take Me to Church” right before the encore, and it was the most intense I’d seen the audience all night. He covered “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child right before closing the show out with  “Work Song”.

Hozier sold out this tour and it is very apparent why. He was a true talent on stage and provided the audience with a night to remember.

Nicole DiBenedetto is a photographer based out of New Jersey. She likes making new friends and meeting new people so catch her out in the pit and say hi!