And it was great. Yup, it was the 2nd go around for me in about about 3 months (instead of days) for Zola Jesus and I was there to witness the event. This time around it was closer downtown at The Parish and a couple of different bands opened up for the Z. The stage setup itself was alright and the opening bands could’ve used some work, but overall it was pretty good time. I even got to play with a lit up balloon.
So it was rainy as hell last Friday night but that didn’t stop me from mucking through the garbage soaked street water to The Parish to catch the show. If you haven’t been to the Parish, it’s an upstairs bar from some place I never go into on 6th street. The sound is great, one of the best in Austin, and there’s plenty of seating off to the side if you get tired of standing and/or dancing. The one thing that is lacking is draft beer. I’m beginning to think that kegs and the supporting equipment are kind of expensive down here because I see alot of bars out there that don’t have it.
But on to the bands. First up was Technicolor Hearts. So they are an art project/band out of Austin. They were full on interactive art as the lead singer lady threw balloons with the lights at the crowd and looped the crowd with neon yarn. The music was along those same lines and this young band could put on a show worthy of the Flaming Lips, they just need some more polish.
Talk Normal was next and it was none the such. The Brooklyn based all girl duo feature the smorgasbord of minimalistic stylings. In other words, the guitar played about one or two notes and the drummer had a couple of unique syncopation. The one thing that fascinated me the most was the way the drummer played during the set. I thought she was standing up but she was actually sitting on a stool. The arms looked like they were going for some Whack-A-Mole and not banging on drums. I can’t say I walked away with any of their songs in my head.
Finally, Zola Jesus came on stage. A better lit stage. Missing from the touring band this time was the heavy metal drummer I liked so much. His replacement was the same guy who was working the samples before but now did double duty. The new addition featured a violinist and she offered the perfect accompaniment to Nika’s haunting voice. The microphone tried to sabotage her during the set, but the roadie dumped it in favor of a wireless mic and saved the show.
I actually preferred the Zola Jesus set the first time but that’s because it was more intimate and there were not mic malfunctions. The set last Friday at the Parish, was pretty dang good. The open room and the easier access to beer certainly helped. Zola Jesus was helped with blue cubes for Nika to prance around on. I think she was getting a little hoarse toward the end. It meant that she poured her whole soul into that performance.