ACL Live Shot: Zola Jesus

Zilker Park, Oct. 13

ACL Live Shot: Zola Jesus
Photo by Gary Miller

Nika Danilova records under the eyebrow-arching nom de plume Zola Jesus, and with a backing band featuring a standing drum set, violinist, and keyboard player, she performed a heady set of somber electronics shot through with lots of low-end percussion and her own powerful vocals. "It rains during every festival I've played," she sighed during one of her few nonsung addresses to the crowd, and though it began to drizzle during "In Your Nature" (ominous sample lyric: "It's coming down ..."), the precipitation was just a prelude to what was to come hours later. In a flowing gray outfit and surrounded by musicians dressed all in black, Danilova's poise and control belie not just her 23 years on earth, but also her modest start toying with noise and melody on a scratchy 2009 home-recorded debut, Spoils. Like obvious inspiration Kate Bush, Zola Jesus tends to do one thing particularly well, but when the songs began to run together, she broke the synthesizer hypnotics by running the stage, leaping into the audience, and, at the end of the set, pounding the cymbals to a raucous crescendo.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Zola Jesus
ACL Interview: Zola Jesus
Zola Jesus
Saturday, 1:15pm, Honda stage

Luke Winkie, Oct. 12, 2012

More Music Reviews
Album Review: PES’s <i>Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)</i>
Album Review: PES’s Corales Prematuros (En Vivo)
Peruvian-fronted rock band offers a daring approach of their debut EP

Cy White, July 12, 2024

Album Review: Fastball’s <i>Sonic Ranch</i>
Album Review: Fastball’s Sonic Ranch
With their latest, the trio creates what they call their best album yet

Cy White, June 28, 2024

More by Adam Schragin
Sad Music for Somber People
Sad Music for Somber People
Toasting My Education and its dearly departed

Jan. 11, 2013

Free Week Live Shots Part 1
Eagle Claw, Tia Carrera, Megafauna, Flesh Lights, Smoke & Feathers, My Education
Highlights from first half of Free Week

Jan. 11, 2013


Zola Jesus

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle