Zola Jesus performs at U Street Music Hall on Sept. 30, 2017. (Photo by Jason Nicholson)
Zola Jesus released Okovi, her fifth studio album, on Sept. 8 via Sacred Bones, and then she appeared as if an apparition to play those songs live at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, Sept. 30. Jason Nicholson was there to capture the show!
According to Setlist.fm, Zola Jesus (aka Nika Roza Danilova and aka Nicole Hummel) opened with songs from the new album — “Veka” and “Soak.” Soon, she revisited her past albums with “Dangerous Days” from her excellent fourth album, Taiga. She continued to retrace her steps in the show with performance favorites like “Night” from Stridulum II and “Vessel” from Conatus.
Critics have noted Zola Jesus has returned to a harder, sparser sound than her previous album. Sam Shepherd of MusicOMH said, “[S]ometimes it sounds bleak, sometimes it sounds glorious, but it’s in embracing the full gamut of life experience, as Zola Jesus does here that nothing becomes everything. The shackles might still be on, but this is the sound of an artist reveling in freedom.”
Find Zola Jesus on tour tonight, Oct. 3, in Philadelphia. She wraps her US tour in Portland, Oregon, on Oct. 20 prior going to Europe. If you liked her early stuff, be sure to catch her show to see a return to form.
Here are some pictures of Zola Jesus performing at U Street Music Hall on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. All photos copyright and courtesy of Jason Nicholson.