Last night brought the first concert of the year for me and with it came Zola Jesus and her brand of operatic goth at the Luminary Center for the Arts. And what a start it was.
Having seen Zola Jesus last April at the smaller Billiken Club (where there couldn’t have been more than 30 people in the venue), I thought I already knew what to expect. But last night’s show definitely upped the ante. Starting with placing three LED cube-pods into the darkened stage and bringing in violinist Christiana Key to be part of the band, Zola Jesus‘s set blended in a mix of the theatrical with Ms. Danilova’s always amazing and incredible powerful pipes. Whether it be shimmering on stage, climbing on a stool to sing or dissolving into the packed crowd, Zola had the audience’s breathless attention. I feel for those unlucky few who were stranded in the back missing out on the performance.
Talk Normal opened the show and while I wasn’t familiar with them before tonight, I sure will be keeping my eye on them now after seeing their performance. Talk Normal are Andrya Ambro and Sarah Register, two girls playing noise rock. The frenetic tribal drumming of Ambro and sonic howls of Register had me and the rest of the early crowd mesmerized. At one point, Register brought out a screwdriver and used it to barre and slide the strings of her guitar to create sonic dissonance.
Photo gallery from the show, as well as an up-close (and very dimly-lit) video of Zola Jesus performing Lick the Palm of the Burning Handshake embedded below: