Before 4ZZ could start broadcasting in 1975, a transmitter was ordered from the U.S. But after it was lost on the dock in New York, 4ZZ's chief engineer at the time Ross Dannecker built the station's first transmitter.
Zola Jesus, Alhambra 1/06
Writing about the support bands for this show is a strange exercise. Sure, Palindromes put on a decent set and Blank Realm did wonderfully at getting people off the couches and into the main room, but seeing these bands on a bill with Zola Jesus was like ordering chocolate cake for desert and having it arrive doused in fish sauce. In my eyes at least, it was a very strange combo. It’s almost like the promoter wanted to give us hope in the form of catchy melodies and beats only to have it all snuffed out once the headliner’s synths and strings kicked in. It certainly worked on that level, if that’s what they were going for.
Possibly because I didn’t do enough research beforehand, I was expecting a solitary girl singing to a laptop, which I’d like to stress wouldn’t have been a bad thing. However, when a three-person backing band took the stage alongside Nika, I wasn’t complaining. There was a digitally provided backing track, of course, but filling out the rest of the sound was synths, heavily effected violin, and live drums. Cheers to whoever was doing sound that night, as well, because the blend between pre-recorded and live instrumentation was really well-mixed and instead of having one or two things completely monopolise the mix it was all wonderfully balanced.
All the live reviews of Zola Jesus couldn’t prepare me for how confident and sometimes scary Ms. Danilova can be during a performance. It’s unnerving to see a girl that young take such unquestionable control of a stage. Emerging from side-stage draped in white and pale as paper, she meant business from the word go. When they were setting up the stage, I have to admit I was skeptical about her need for a wireless mic in such a small venue, but after a few songs and a whole lot of dancing, gyrating and speaker-climbing its necessity became apparent. As soon as she made her way through the crowd and started dancing on the bar, the energy in the room peaked. You could feel that the general consensus was that this was something special.
When and if Zola Jesus play Brisbane again they will do so in a larger, less intimate venue and when this happens, the people that rant and rave about how good that show was will get a generous serving from anyone who attended this one at Alhambra. If you missed out on this, start marking a calendar or something. Sort yourself out, and quickly.