REVIEW: ZOLITA @ THE MIDDLE EAST 2/22
By Talia Lissauer
Zolita put on an incredible performance to a sold-out crowd at the Sonia, highlighting not only her talents as a singer and performer but also the sapphic love stories she writes about.
Zolita took the queer world by storm when her song “Somebody I fucked once” went viral. She then followed up with a trilogy of sapphic music videos showing the queer relationship representation missing from the media. She set off on her first North American headline tour a week after her EP “Falling Out / Falling In” was released on February 10th.
For the majority of the show, she ran around the stage dancing and obviously having the time of her life. At times, her band overpowered her, making it hard to hear her, but fortunately, seemingly everyone in the audience knew every word and was able to make up for the lack of volume from her.
Opener Lulu Simon has an angelic voice that is meant for the stage. She took time between songs to connect with the audience, before going into a deeply vulnerable song.
She wowed the crowd with her most streamed song on Spotify “Strangers.” She detailed how hard it is that the friends she had written songs about in the past are no longer in her life. A familiar feeling based on the crowd’s reaction.
Zolita took a break from the nonstop dancing to play “Ashley” with just the guitar and herself. Before starting the song, she said she not only wrote the song for her current girlfriend, but also for her past self who could have used a song like this.
“Ashley” was by far the best part of the show. Zolita has a beautiful voice that was not highlighted enough when she was dancing around the stage but it got its shining moment during this song. Watching Zolita and the crowd during those few minutes warmed my heart.
The show included two covers. The mashup of “Orchard St.” and “Cornelia Street” by Taylor Swift will stick with me forever. Orchid Street is already a beautiful song, but fusing it with Swift’s song gave it a whole new meaning.
She also covered “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. It was no surprise that Zolita had the emotions and energy to absolutely crush the song as is, but managed to exceed all expectations by changing the pronouns of the song to “she.”
The final song “20 Questions” and the encore “Somebody I fucked Once” was the perfect way to end her show. Zolita is known for her unfiltered, raw and upbeat music and these are the best representation of that, therefore the best way to leave the audience.
Zolita put on an energized, heartwarming and unforgettable queer performance — a rare combination.