I admit, I didn't really know what would await me, I wasn't that familiar with Zola Jesus. Goth and Dance mixed together maybe? I knew, however, that Zola Jesus is big business.
Berghain's Panorama Bar was sold out and packed and we little people only got a spot right at the back. The pre-gig mood was lively and loud. The audience appeared to consist of students, students and some more people who were primarily bland.
Zola Jesus came on with a bang, smoke, projections and a far out light show that matched her theatrical singing. At first, I was taken aback by a pretty full on start to the show. But after about two songs I got thoroughly bored. While her operatic singing is impressive and would enrich any great song, the actual songs were lacking something special. It was all very commercial, unintelligent light disco pop, not enough rhythm to get you dancing (in fact, nobody in the audience danced), but not melodic enough to catch your attention.
In addition, the sound was disappointing. I am a fan of Berghain as a venue because of it's amazing ambience. But what's that worth when you can only hear bass and drums and hardly any keyboards?
I'm not sure what to make of it all. Disappointed and in wonder why this is receiving the amount of attention it is, I think there are a several artists who are doing a similar thing, albeit maybe not as professional, who deserve this attention more.