Live Review: Hozier and George Ezra at Atlanta’s Tabernacle

Review by Katie Flint, Photography by Danielle Boise

Last Friday (Friday the 13th of all days!), Ireland and UK’s Hozier and George Ezra played together for a sold out crowd at Atlanta’s famous Tabernacle. This show has been sold out for months, so being able to review this show was probably the biggest treat for me this week. I knew the big songs by these two singer/songwriters, but it was the lesser known songs by each are what melted me. My friend Diane and I went together, and headed upstairs into the mezzanine of the Tabernacle. As much as we would like to be in the pit downstairs, we decided we wanted to sit down and enjoy the music, and we did just that.

George Ezra was up first. I was personally more excited for him than I was for Hozier. After watching his SNL performance, I wasn’t sure how he would be live. Anyway, George Ezra comes on and starts playing his first song “Cassy O” and immediately the women in the audience are in love. He can play a guitar very well, but the boy has some pipes. And normally a so-called “attractive singer” from my perspective has been a tenor/baritone when it comes to vocal section. I’m pretty sure George Ezra is a bass because he can hit those low notes.

He started playing “Listen to The Man” and he started to open up more the audience. He must have been nervous, but that’s okay; he was great anyway. What was really nice about his performance was that there wasn’t a lot of material, but there was a lot of context in his material. His first album was all about his travels in Europe, hence the namesakes “Barcelona” and “Budapest.” The story behind “Budapest” was pretty funny, and as a person he just seems like a good kid doing what he loves.

He ended is surprisingly short set with an extended version of “Did you Hear The Rain?” which started with a long a capella intro, showcasing that voice as golden as his hair. Everyone in the venue was about to bow down to that voice. We were definitely not worthy.

Hozier was up next. His set up was a lot bigger than George’s, which included also a cello, synths and two backup singers. I wish that we had just him, but knowing his inspiration from choral music, the backup singers of different octaves made sense.

He started his set with “Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene” which changed the atmosphere of the concert from upbeat acoustics to a passionate blues-rock show. With every song that Hozier played, everyone around me went nuts, which was good for him, but for me it was a little overwhelming. I wanted to just sit and relax to the beautiful music.

As he went through his set, one thing I noticed is that he didn’t talk much in between songs. He only really talked before “Someone New” and “In A Week” where it had to do with love. Which indicates where a good percentage of his music may be stemming from, but whose music isn’t?

He ended his initial set with his biggest hit, “Take Me to Church” and everyone stood up to give praise to Hozier. As he left, he got ready for a long four-song encore. The encore included an intimate performance of “Cherry Wine” paired with an homage to his cover from BBC One Radio, “Problem” by Ariana Grande. I felt like I was one of the few that noticed that he added a hint of “Regulate” by Warren G while singing “Problem.” Well played, Hozier.

The show as a whole was a perfect example on how successful these two gentlemen have become. If you didn’t get a chance to see Hozier last night, he’s coming back in May! He’ll be playing May 8 at Chastain Park Amphitheater a little further out from the city. You can get tickets here.

Full Photo Gallery of Hozier

Full Photo Gallery of George Ezra

Belle & Sebastian bring the harmonies to Atlanta

10-01-14 Belle & Sebastian @ Tabernacle, ATL 140 tag

Photography by Danielle Boise

The U.K. ensemble, Belle & Sebastian took the Tabernacle stage on Oct. 1 in Atlanta, with Luke Temple opening for them. With an art-house feel, Belle & Sebastian reigned supreme as they performed “Judy Is a Dick Slap,” “I’m a Cuckoo,” “Funny Little Frog,” “Photo Jenny,” “If She Wants Me,” “Allie,” “Perfect Couples,” “Piazza, New York Catcher,” “The Stars of Track and Field,” “She’s Losing It,” “Enter Sylvia Plath,” “I Didn’t See It Coming,” “The Boy with the Arab Strap,” “Legal Man” and “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying.” For the encore, they performed “We Are the Sleepyheads” and “Me and the Major.”

 

Full Photo Gallery of Belle & Sebastian

 

 

Full Photo Gallery of Luke Temple

 

Sarah McLachlan beams in Atlanta with ‘Shine On’ tour at Chastain Park Amphitheatre

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

Live Review and Photos by Danielle Boise

“These are the last four (tour) dates, glad to be back. I feel so grounded and centered… I feel this is why I am on this earth.” – Sarah McLachlan

Same venue, but with a completely different show than the last time, Sarah McLachlan was in town two years ago with the ASO. This time there was more of an open exchange between McLachlan and the audience. The stage was set up more like her living room, with several plush, deep set violet chairs and couches, along with hanging lanterns and strings of dozens of lights that drew the audience in for a more intimate show with a familiar feel.

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

In fact, McLachlan remarked how much she missed her living room when she was out on the road, that she felt the need to bring her living room out on this tour to feel connected. The couches were later used for when McLachlan brought up two groups of winners, one for each set, from the social awareness campaign that she had launched on her Facebook.

What a perfect night, with cool temps bordering on the edge of chilly. As dusk became nightfall, Sarah McLachlan took Chastain Park Amphitheatre’s stage on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, for an evening with no opener. Instead, two distinctive sets with an intermission where McLachlan encouraged an open dialogue on the human experience by giving the fans an opportunity to ask her any question they wanted to, no matter how personal, by writing the questions down on a piece a paper and submitting it to McLachlan. Later in the show, she would then randomly pull the questions out of a hat on stage and answer them.

McLachlan didn’t just cater to playing her hits, but rather created a nice balance between the new songs and chart topping hits to create a rather enjoyable mixture of songs that brought together a meaningful, solemn experience through a sense of solace.

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

 

McLachlan started the night off with a new song off her recently released Shine On album called “Flesh and Blood” and then transitioned seamlessly into crowd favorite “Building a Mystery,” followed by “In Your Shoes,” “Adia,” “Answer,” “Broken Heart” and “Fallen.”

“For me, it’s got a lot to do with gratitude.” McLachlan referenced the meaning behind her latest album, Shine On. McLachlan took a few moments to discuss with the crowd the difficult time in her life transitioning between the ages of 44 to 46, and coming out on the other side of the struggle whole and complete.

“In these times when there is so much bad shit, it’s important to remember to lean on the people in your life.” McLachlan exclaimed right before going into “World on Fire.”

After which McLachlan stopped the show to have the social media winners come up on stage and sit in her living room, she took a few moments to connect with each of the six winners, by hugging them and taking selfies before pulling fan questions out of her hat.

The first question out of the gate was a tough one. What was the most difficult moment in your life and did music help you through it? McLachlan paused a bit to collect her thoughts, and decided on answering the second part of the question first. “Writing has always been cathartic for me. I think the safer (answer) one for me was when my dad passed away. He was an anchor for me. Music helped.”

 

07-30-14 Sarah McLachlan Shine On Tour @ CPA, ATL 248 tag

 

To the dismay of the crowd, when asked what her favorite junk food was, the response was more of the salty, fatty variety – French fries, instead of the joyful cry from the crowd when they all screamed “ice cream.”

The last question drew awkward laughter from McLachlan when asked if she had ever had sex to any of her own music. To which her response elicited chuckles, “Eww, that would be so creepy.”

After the Q & A session, McLachlan resumed playing her songs set to a spectacular light show of alternating hues of denim, chartreuse and golden light that illuminated powerfully as she sung “Loving You is Easy,” “Monsters” and ending with “Stupid” for the first set.

After the intermission, McLachlan came back and performed a touching tribute to her father, called “Song for My Father.” There is always at least one moment at a Sarah McLachlan concert where I am literally moved to tears; it’s just a given fact for me. That moment happened with “A Song for My Father.” A touching tribute that anyone who has lost someone in their life, especially a parent, can relate to on a personal level as it strikes a distinctive cord. Of course she followed that up with “I Will Remember You,” so my eyes stayed watery for quite a while.

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

 

McLachlan rounded out the rest of the set with “Brink of Destruction,” “Hold On,” “Love Beside Me,” “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,” “Witness,” “Fear,” “Sweet Surrender” and finished with second set with the ever so powerful “Possession.” For the encore, McLachlan followed up with “Angel,” “Beautiful Girl,” the ever so popular fan favorite, “Ice Cream” and ended with “The Sound That Loves Makes.”

What was the most enchanting thing to witness was how much McLachlan was willing to not only open herself up musically and lyrically to the audience, but how she was willing to share her life’s journey with her fans in a non-evasive way, one that was truly organic and natural to participate in, while being able to take away some of her wisdom and truth.

There is absolutely nothing better than hearing a venue filled with happy, vibrant people listening to music that they not only love, but moves them to celebrate the human condition through laughter, love and tears. And that was exactly what happened at Chastain for Sarah McLachlan’s Shine On stop. If you can, don’t miss one of the few remaining stops of this tour. It’s truly heartfelt and humbling.

 

 

Sarah McLachlan 'Shine On' Tour

Sarah McLachlan ‘Shine On’ Tour

 

 

Full Photo Gallery of Sarah McLachlan