Music Park: Zola Jesus @ Moogfest — 5/19/17

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Zola Jesus performs at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, North Carolina, during Moogfest 2017 on May 19.

Touring sporadically in recent months, Nika Roza Danilova, better known as Zola Jesus, dropped by Moogfest 2017 recently to perform a haunting set at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, North Carolina. Intense and introspective as ever, Zola Jesus performed some new songs in the outdoor venue as she weaved her body into her music.

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Music Park: Moogfest 2016 Pt. 3 of 3 (Durham, NC) — 5/21/16

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It’s Gary Numan’s Day on the third day of Moogfest 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Saturday, May 21, could have been Gary Numan Day in Durham, NC, as the Moogfest headliner had quite a day there. First, he received the 2016 Moog Innovation Award in an afternoon ceremony, and then he performed the third of three concerts a few hours later at Fletcher Hall in the Carolina Theatre.

Sadly, I couldn’t make Gary’s award ceremony as the 2pm time conflicted with a Moogfest show by Gwenno, who was high on my “to see” list for the synthesizer festival.

Toward the end of her show, Welsh songstress Gwenno apologized for the sad lyrics of songs on her debut solo album, Y Dydd Olaf, which after all was inspired by a Welsch dystopian science fiction novel of the same name from 1976. (The title translates as “the last day.”)

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Music Park: Gary Numan (Replicas) @ Moogfest 2016 — 5/19/16

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Gary Numan sings at Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC, on Thursday, May 19, 2016. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Like a colossus astride from stage to stage, Gary Numan, indeed a giant in electronic music for many, walked out onto that stage at Motorco Music Hall on the first night of Moogfest 2016.

Visiting Durham, NC, for three nights of Moogfest, the first of Gary’s shows for the festival focused on his album Replicas, most famous for the UK #1 hit “Are Friends Electric?” — a song that awoke the world to the potential of a new generation of synthesizers in pop music.

Interestingly, Gary stuck largely to the guitar on this first night on Thursday while others in his band very capably provided the synths (this was Moogfest, after all). But Gary came to the stage more than ready to play, and he absolutely burnt the hall down in a fiery rock ‘n’ roll rendition of Replicas that would have convinced you he was the biggest, best, and brightest rock star on the planet.

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