Zola Jesus kicks off SXSW low and slow
"Dark wave” musician Nika Danilova, who performs as Zola Jesus, hit the Patreon House of Creativity stage on the first night of South by Southwest Music with just a keyboard and her voice. Noting that she is a “self-taught” piano player, the musician endearingly warned the audience that she was liable to make some performance mistakes.
But Danilova displayed a natural musicianship during her late-night set, playing with the limits of her pared-down instrumental setup and stretching her haunting voice.
It was all a bit hard to see, though, given the extremely low-set stage at Augustine’s. Without any eye-line, the crowd struggled to feel connected to Zola Jesus’ experimental, unhurried performance.