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Review and photos by Mary AndrewsThe Summer Ends Music Festival heats up in Arizona's Tempe Beach Park in more ways than one. The festival has been in existence for several years and the promoters have the logistics of festivals down pat. This annual four-day festival started on time at 4:30 in the 100-degree heat in the afternoon to a large crowd of predominantly college-age attendees who were there to see Cold War Kids, Brandon Flowers, and Hozier on the first day.
California's Cold War Kids kicked things of with their "Mexican Dogs" from 2008's Loyalty to Loyalty. From there they performed songs from their whole catalogue. The vocals were passionate and distinctive. The crowd swelled as the set progressed and their energy exploded.
Brandon Flowers brought his onstage theatrics commanding the crowd's attention as he opened the set with a past life, Killers' song "Humans." He exhibited a boyish charm throughout the set of past and new songs. At one point during the set, a fan appeared to be having a problem with the heat. He temporarily stopped the set so that she could get some assistance. He had played a set at the Crescent Theatre the night before in the area and he was surprised to find that many in the audience had been in attendance. The set was a crowd-pleaser.
Irish singer-songwriter, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, stole the show. His breakout hit song, "Take Me To Church" brought him instant success in the United States as well as across the world. He has toured extensively this year and this is his second stop in the Phoenix area in six months. He and his band that included a cellist along with traditional rock band components featured a lot of blues elements from his latest album release, the self-titled Hozier. He proved to have some great guitar 'chops' as he played "To Be Alone."
The momentum built up from the start of the set with "Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene." Hozier kept the set at high energy even though he marveled at the intense heat at nine o'clock at night. He quipped, "I will be mopped off this stage by the end of the set."
Many of the songs in the set were as intense as "Take Me To Church," however, Hozier was having as good of a time as the adoring crowd.
On the third day of the Summer Ends Festival, ABC news reported an incident of more than nine people being rushed to the hospital at the festival after the crowd rushed the stage that night. One person suffered a head injury. As many as 40 people were hurt during the incident. Some people at the front of the stage complained of suffocation and seizures. The crowd surge is said to have started when the band Rebelution took to the stage and started to perform. "It was the band itself that stopped playing music to call for help," local NBC station 12 Newsreported."It got too crazy, so it just went out of control," revealed a concertgoer. Concert promoters alleged overcrowding/dehydration/exhaustion/can't-hold-liquor-and-drugs lead to the ordeal. This was the first year the festival had employed the use of two stages at the same time.
|Hozier set list:|
1. Like Real People Do
2. Angel of Small Death and the Codeine Scene
3. From Eden
4. Jackie and Wilson
5. To Be Alone
6. Someone New
7. Blackbird (The Beatles cover)
8. It Will Come Back
9. In a Week
10. Arsonist's Lullabye
12. Cherry Wine
13. Problem (Ariana Grande cover)
14. Work Song
15. Take Me To Church
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