Ascending from a canister held by Nika Danilova, the smoke from Blackbird's Taiga inspired incense permeated the air as she walked onto the stage at the start of the show. With her commanding presence and her arresting voice, the audience at Republic was almost instantly mesmerized. Each track from Zola Jesus' recently released album, Taiga, was sung to perfection. The live band's musical reproduction matched that of the studio-recorded album, but with the fierce power that comes with a thundering drum kit and growling trombone.
The show was dark, yet on fire. During her encore, Nika left everyone speechless as she sung the beautifully somber "Skin". A moment later, the thick air cleared as the techy synth sounds of "Vessel" vibrated around the venue. As her drummer took the spotlight by whaling on his entire kit towards the end of the song, Danilova watched on before thrashing her body around the stage in a surging climactic finish.