Review: ZOLA JESUS in Denton

by Shifted Sister & Root Chakra

Note: Show date 10/28/2011

Dan’s Silverleaf was the place to be last night with the return of Zola Jesus in their first headlining tour to hit Denton. The one-man machine Xanopticon opened. When he entered the stage with his laptop and mixer he was able to bounce back and forth between tracks he had created to bring his style of industrial futuristic funk mixed with jungle and trip-hop to the audience. There was a lot going on and he never slowed down or missed a beat. His time signatures were on que giving him the vibe to make the audience move. One guy close to the stage was so into the bounce he kept buying Xanopticon shots and held up his record at the end of the set; maybe that guy should tour with him and be his spokesperson.Xanopticon makes music that seems to be created for himself, the music that he wanted to listen to but nobody was making. He definitely has his own style and it works. His music is definitely something that is worth checking out live first as opposed to hearing for the first time on Soundcloud. His body moving performance adds an element that would be otherwise missed.

When Zola Jesus poured themselves onto the stage the band put off an impression that they would fit as the backing band for Danzig, automatically peaking the interest of a certain viewer. Then out comes Nika, draped in white with her witch house style blonde hair; the audience knew they were in for an intimate performance. They played mostly songs from their latest album, Conatus (sacred bones), scattered with a few songs from their earlier work. By the end of the set Nika had climbed on the bar, marched around the audience, and stood on top of every table in Dan’s Silverleaf. This method of getting the audience going definitely works and should be practiced more often. With their 80’s goth synth-wave style that only the evolution of the last 30 years could provide makes them a musical anomaly worth checking out live. Nika is a tiny person who can fill up an entire room. Her body movements on stage are hypnotic and powerful. They closed with Vessel and them came out to encore shortly after with a song from an earlier album. The encore seems to have been forgotten by many bands touring DFW lately and it was nice to have the band show their gratitude through this act.Zola Jesus is a band to see if you ever get the chance. It was definitely obvious by the crowd tucked in so close to the stage that every person there had grown in their love for Zola Jesus by the end of the night.