Zolita is not just an icon, but a queer icon — she triumphantly wears her lesbian identity like a bubblegum pink blazer. Her confidently conspicuous queerness borrows the easy energy of mainstream pop, while opening the door to an inclusive and relatable understanding of the LGBTQ+ experience.
Outfitted with fresh confidence supporting Bebe Rexha on tour, Zolita’s June 4 show at the Fox Theater shook with unapologetic queer pride, from her pride month shout-out to the trademark lesbian ‘cult of girls’ symbol shining behind her. Onstage, she shimmered with an understanding of quiet adolescent longing and a wiser insight of past relationships.
As Zolita emerged to “20 Questions,” her mellow vocals climbed to forceful urgency as she layered on jealous questions to a cheating lover. She followed with heady infatuation in “Ruin My Life” as the room flooded with shared euphoria and warm recognition.
What makes Zolita such a meaningful artist is her dedication to spotlighting unique experiences of queerness alongside universal themes of young love, obsession, breakup and hurt.
Onstage, her unapologetic self-assurance flowed from angst to infatuation with a playful ease. As an artist known for rich sapphic storytelling in her music videos, the show arced through a diverse palette of real queer experiences. From daring and moody to soft and laced with longing, she illuminated the shaded contours of queer love.
Throughout her performance, Zolita radiated as a powerful beacon of queer support, both empowering and empathetic. When she introduced the somber longing of “Single in September,” a fan close to the stage screamed, “I’m so single!” Zolita beamed back and shouted, “Well, you have really good energy!”
Between songs, she softened to acknowledge a political climate currently gutting the queer community of basic rights. She called back to her younger self — a self who couldn’t access empowering, positive queer stories — to highlight the importance of diverse representation.
The shared experiences of queer people ultimately drove and defined the show. As she connected with the audience through the unique difficulties of young queer love in “Ashley,” she spotted a young girl on the shoulders of someone in the crowd and looked out at her as she sang to gentle acoustics. The girl watched her with wide eyes, entranced. Perfect for the mostly young crowd, Zolita’s fun and recognizable pop speaks to adolescents growing up and grappling with queerness, who clustered to the front of the stage.
Zolita followed with her newly released single “Grave” as she sang about what she could do with an ex’s secrets. Ripe with jealousy and regret, her haunted vocals clung to the air — a noticeable shift from her high-energy pop anthems.
As the evening came to a close, she surprised the crowd with a gender-swapped sapphic cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.” Zolita’s voice rang out with a new country twang as she swayed with the playfulness of karaoke.
Closing with her crowd-favorite, “Somebody I F*cked Once,” her sultry voice buzzed with glossy longing as she murmured: “I’m in bed texting girls/ But I’m thinking ‘bout you, baby.”
Without backup singers, Zolita sang with spectacularly candid clarity. Fitted in a tight black dress crossed with belts and wide cutouts, she was a dominating force, distant and thrilling. As she sang, her self-confidence crystallized — clipped halfway between love and longing, Zolita was fully and clearly her queer self.