A Stirling Night

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This past Tuesday (7/1), I had the pleasure of going to one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended (and I’ve probably attended 20-30).  Now, given what happened after the show, I’m probably a little biased in saying that, but I’m going to try to set aside my personal feelings when I review the show.  Then we’ll probably take a hard right back into fanboyland.  So fasten your seatbelts, this one’s gonna be a ride…

Anyway, I went to see Lindsey Stirling perform at The Masquerade in Atlanta.  Apparently, Lindsey had played on one of the indoor stages two years ago, but it had been so jam-packed that they had to move it to the outdoor stage this time (which I didn’t even know existed).  The crowd was way bigger than I was expecting, which goes to show just how much Lindsey’s star is rising these days.

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Lindsey Stirling and her band during their performance of her hit song, “Crystallize.”

What struck me most about Lindsey’s show was that it was truly a multimedia experience.  She doesn’t just rely on her “dancing violinist” shtick to carry the show, though her performances were spot on (my favorites were probably “Roundtable Rival” and “Beyond the Veil,” part of which she performed behind a veil).  There was a lot more going on here, such as the ambient art that appeared on the video screens while she was playing, which added to the experience.  Sometimes she would play over her music videos as well.  In addition, she showed a montage of old home movies early on in the show, and her backup dancers broke into a dance-off later.

Lindsey is also very good at interacting with her fans.  For instance, she told a story early on in the show about a Lady Gaga concert she’d attended where Gaga had done a costume change onstage, and while she was talking about it, her backup dancers came in and changed her costume.  That made me chuckle.  She also did an acoustic set of 2 or 3 songs, which had more of a “fireside chat” feel, or as much as you can have in a venue with a few thousand people in it.

The only real criticism I’d make of her performance is when her two songs with vocals, “We Are Giants” and the single “Shatter Me,” were played.  Rather than to have her own singer, as many artists do when they have multiple guest vocalists on their album, she instead chose to play her violin over the studio recording of these songs.  I felt like that took away from the songs a bit.  Live shows are supposed to have a different and spontaneous feel to them, but her playing over studio recordings made the performances seem a little stiff.  Now, in Lindsey’s defense, it is hard to find a vocalist with the versatility to sing in a lot of different styles, but if Slash can do it, Lindsey can.

But the best part of the night was yet to come.  I mentioned in a past post that I was going to meet her after the show because of a donation I made to the making of her album on PledgeMusic.  So, after the show, my friend Austin and I hung out by the merch table and waited for her tour manager to come collect us.  He escorted us back to her trailer, where we waited for her to finish chatting up the mob of friends and family that were outside there.

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In eager anticipation of Lindsey’s arrival at her trailer…

Lindsey showed up about 10 minutes later.  We went back and ate bowls of cereal (as she apparently does after every show) while chatting with her.  We talked about a variety of topics, such as the story behind some of her songs, the role of her faith in her music, violin technique, and other shows she went to during her time off from touring (she really enjoyed seeing Paramore, which was the only show she went to where she got recognized by people in the crowd).  I remember going in there with a lot of different questions and things that I wanted to ask her, but was so starstruck that my mind went mostly blank.  Funny enough, that didn’t happen as much when I met Alter Bridge a few years back… maybe it’s the cute girl thing 🙂

After that, she took pictures with us and signed our CDs and tickets.  People say that it’s often a big letdown when they meet their favorite actors or musicians, because they often have a different personality than they put out to the world.  I can say that for at least 20 minutes, Lindsey was the same sweet, cute Lindsey that inhabits YouTube.  My only regret was not getting her phone number :P.  So, if by some chance you’re reading this, Lindsey, thanks for making one fan’s night unforgettable.

Me and Lindsey!

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