Sunday, November 08, 2015

Live: Zola Jesus @ Fuzz Club (Athens, Nov. 5, 2015)

In her first ever live performance in Athens, Nika Roza Danilova, a.k.a. Zola Jesus, presented an hour-long set based on her latest album, 2014's "Taiga". It is her most pop-friendly work to date, where the mix of goth darkness and primitive beats of her previous LPs takes a back seat to a more upbeat, dancefloor oriented synth-pop.

On stage, however, Zola Jesus injects even her most straightforward synth-pop songs with burning energy and fury that make sure you won't be confusing them with the repertoire of a pop diva. Her strong vocal presence was the dominant force even in her most noisy compositions, while her body language and frenetic dancing gave a primitive edge to the songs that was missing in their recorded incarnation.

Aside from the majority of "Taiga", Zola Jesus also included "Sea Talk" (check out the video below) and "Night" (the main set closer) from 2010's "Stridulum II", while 2011's "Conatus" was represented by "In Your Nature" and the two songs that she saved for the encore, "Skin" and the impressive "Vessel", perhaps the best song of the night. In conclusion, a fine live performance by Zola Jesus who managed to take her songs beyond the limits of their studio versions.

The evening started with Sofia Sarri performing songs from her soon to be released debut solo album, as well as a reworking of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" which followed in the footsteps of This Mortal Coil's version. A strong vocal performance that fitted nicely before the main event.

Sofia Sarri, live @ Fuzz Club (Nov. 5, 2015)
Zola Jesus - Sea Talk, live @ Fuzz Club (Nov. 5th, 2015)

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