Past Performances: Lindsey Stirling

Goooooood morning and welcome back to my life. As promised, today I have a discussion of a very recent performance I attended–a Lindsey Stirling concert last Friday.


First off–holy crap. Who would have thought that a violinist could put on a concert worthy of a rock goddess. The lights, the fog, the soul-shaking music…hot damn. Stirling writes a majority of her own music, and it is just as good, if not better than her covers. I’m particularly fond of this gem:

Stirling’s “thing”, if you will, aside from the techno/rock/dubstep violin music, is that she dances while she plays. In that regard, I was….underwhelmed. I could go through all my nitty-grtty technical quibbles, but frankly, does it matter? No–she’s dancing while playing a freaking violin. Neither myself nor my cello-playing fiance can figure out how she does it without bouncing the bow all over the strings. I watched closely, and the only definitive clue I spotted was that she NEVER moves her left arm, so as to keep the instrument glued to her shoulder. I also thought perhaps she did more jumping around with the electric version, since that might be more forgiving of sound artifacts, buuuuuut on closer examination she does the same moves with the acoustic instrument. Actually, that highlights one of my other problems with her dancing–it’s repetitive. It’s all well and fine for the length of a YouTube video, but for an hour and a half concert, it gets a bit old. BUT–let’s be honest–it’s because there are only so many moves one can do while playing a freaking violin, so again my criticism is a bit hollow.

I do, however, feel more justified in criticizing her backup dancers, who were not playing instruments stuck to their bodies while dancing. They were passable, fairly good hip-hop/jazz dancers, but as proud member of the Society of Ballet Elitism–don’t put your dancers in tutus and/or white leotards and skirts if they aren’t ballet dancers. We can tell. There are plenty of people in the world happy to perform those pieces with legitimacy. (Hi!)

It probably seems like I’m ripping on Stirling’s show, and ok, yes, I kind of am. But overall it was a fantastic time with some foot-tappin’ music and great showmanship. I’m thrilled at the success people like her have created through YouTube, the rags-to-riches tales of viral videos and millions of views in the face of The Man and a system that emphasizes money-making over artistic authenticity. Stirling and her career is one of the most compelling examples of web success translating into real-world relevancy, and I am thrilled to be a part of that in some small way. Her show was a good time and I look forward to seeing what she does next.

(Except for that ridiculous bit about the water molecules. Why? Just why?)

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