Zsaris takes on U2 classics in Joshua Tree anniversary release
by rick olivares
Last Thursday, August 3, an eclectic line-up of artists performed at U2 The Joshua Tree: Tribute Night at the 70s Bistro in Project 2-3 in Quezon City.
Indie rock band, GILT as well as synth pop acts somedaydream and Paranoid City joined one-woman band, Zsaris, for a show where they all put their own stamp on U2 classics from multi-platinum selling album, The Joshua Tree, that has been re-released in deluxe form 30 years after the record turned the Irish band into superstars.
Zsaris who has made name for herself as a one-woman band who does live looping and beatbox performances was an unusual choice. “My sound has a bit of 1980s old school Pinoy ballads but it’s very organic because of how I play my gigs,” said Zsaris. “I only knew of U2 when I was in grade school when “the Sweetest Thing” was released. That was a refreshing change from all the bubblegum pop I was into. But I only got interested in U2 when I was invited to perform in the U2 Tribute Night. I researched their roots and understood why their music shaped an entire generation.”
However, for her set during U2 night, Zsaris performed “Sunday Bloody Sunday” from the Irish band’s third album, “War”, and “The Sweetest Thing” that was released as a B-side to “Where the Streets Have No Name” from “The Joshua Tree”.
However, the Laguna native performed her set with aplomb. “I was challenged to re-arrange these classics for a live looping set,” noted Zsaris of the task set before her. “That was fun.”
The young woman has been performing in bands since she was in high school but since 2015, she has focused on live looping. “I am like a one-woman band where I combine beatboxing, harmonizing, and playing skills in one package thanks to a pedal called, ‘the looper’,” she described of her performances.
MCA Music’s Senior Marketing Manager Haze Romawac said, “We chose Zsaris to be a part of the event so there would be more variety in the line-up. We also wanted a fresh take on some of U2’s classic hits. We also think her live looping style is something new to the scene.”
More to looping, Zsaris has taken full advantage of the technology and social media available today. “I have videos out on YouTube. Singles on Spotify including my take on the Rivermaya classic, ‘Himala’. Plus, I get to connect with people from all over the globe,” she said. “I have a few uploads on my pages and I get letters from listeners from all walks of life. It’s humbling and it is challenging. It’s a great way to make art!”
“Everything is just in front of you. You just have to put in a bit more work about your music and truly be more passionate about what you’re doing.”
With recognition coming her way, Zsaris hopes to record her debut album by next calendar year. Her next show will be this coming August 19 and 25 at Unit 27 at Icon Plaza along 26th Street located in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.