Published Jun 18, 2015Lee's Palace hosted a diverse opening night for NXNE, to say the least. Sandwiched in between Toronto psych-rockers Doomsquad and dream-pop band Rolemodel, Zola Jesus stuck way out, in the best way possible. From her boisterous entrance, it was clear that this was to be a show full of vitality. Though she occasionally reeled it back to a sombre microphone clutch and a wounded stare into the distance, Zola Jesus kept up her initial verve throughout the show.
Her NXNE performance was essentially a glimpse into the soul of the Russian-American singer, as she laid everything out on the stage with the transparency of someone who's got nothing to hide from her fans. It was this passion that made her show so moving, a level of passion that would seem forced on many performers, but on Zola Jesus came across as completely genuine. Both "Hunger" and "Dangerous Days" were runaway highlights of the evening, displaying Zola Jesus' sheer vocal power in a way that recordings could never match.