Sasquatch! 2012: Zola Jesus
"Oh the world you made."Posted by Nikki Benson
Zola Jesus was a highly anticipated Sasquatch! 2012 act…for some. Her career’s trajectory has made it clear that her vocally-epic, goth-electronica is attracting a cult following. The initial buzz of her September 2011 release Conatus has worn off; but for those that are into her, they are really into her. The Yeti stage wasn’t packed, but Zola Jesus rewarded all who chose to be at her set by giving it everything she had.
Zola started the set off with “Avalanche”. With her commanding presence, she stormed back and forth on the stage, bellowing vocals, stone cold stare, her arms and hands beating the air with the drum beats. She shifted back and forth between holding the microphone and bring out her mic stand so she could stand in one place, making full use of her arms with the emotion of the song.
She played “Collapse” four songs in, moving to a black speaker-sized box in the back stage-left corner, singing in “oh it hurts to let you in” with her body as shielded from sight as possible. By the end of the song she was standing atop of the box like a beautiful siren, beckoning for the audience to step into her world.
Holding true to form with jumping off the stage during her sets, Zola Jesus came out into the crowd during “Seekir”, ripping and grinding through her vocals like a wild woman; at one point, she literally screamed.
Zola Jesus slowed it down by playing “Skin”, starting the song by having all the band members but her electric violinist leave the stage as she addressed the crowd saying, “I’m going to do something different,” and moved over to her electric piano to play. That might have been a decision she regretted as she the piano provided much difficulty, playing off-time and miss keying a few notes. She quickly moved into “IXODE” without looking back.
Another point of interest was that Zola Jesus changed her song lyrics a few times during the set. Her lyrics, although personal, appear to be the means to an end in this project. She shifted her lyrics from “I’m the one you need / I’m not the one you need” to “Oh the world you made” changing her last vowel sound from “e” to “a.” She also completely changed the lyrics, albeit nonsensical, to “IXODE.” Those lyrics are completely sound driven; she chose different sounds for this performance.
The epic songstress ended the set with “Vessel”, and yes, she went crazy at the end, smashing the snare cymbal as violently as she could.
Great show! Check out some photos below: