*All photos by Kristina Astad
Last night one of my best friends Kristina and I ventured to International House in Philadelphia excited to see Zola Jesus and her first live performance of her new album Versions with the legendary JG Thirlwell and Mivos Quartet.
International House was holding the event as the start to their season full of events including films and concerts, and was holding a silent art auction as well as offering appetizers and free drinks. Already, we were in heaven. It was so awesome to go catch up and unwind after work before the show at such a beautiful venue surrounded by other fans. At the same time, we couldn’t hold our excitement to see Zola Jesus in such a way and were ready for the show to start. When it did, we sat front and center.
The show started powerfully with “Avalanche” and it was immediately realized that we were all truly in for something special. Zola Jesus sings with the same power and conviction of a Broadway star, playing a new character and making you connect with them on their journey during each 3-5 minute song. Her stage presence and voice are so moving, and paired with the string quartet the songs are brought to a whole new level of intensity. Kristina and I discussed after the show how much live drums and some lighting work would add another level of power to an already breathtaking, must-see show. Talking to Nika Rosa (Zola Jesus) after the show, they definitely seem to be thinking about incorporating live drums. Flowing through their setlist gracefully, the show was so incredible that nobody wanted it to end. The audience begged for an encore, and received “Avalanche (Slow)” a lovely mirror to the start of the show, and a gorgeous end to a perfect evening of live music.
Philadelphia was the beginning of the Versions tour, so when you see Zola Jesus come through your nearest city you absolutely must go. The show stops in Boston tonight and Brooklyn tomorrow, for tickets and more tour dates click here!
Check out pictures from the show last night and more music from Zola Jesus below!