Lindsey Stirling at Eventim Apollo
Lindsey Stirling’s sterling career first began on YouTube, and she has since amassed a loyal fanbase of over 9 million subscribers with her clever combination of violin, choreography and a modern sound. Crossing over genres like classical, electronic dance, and even drum and bass, it’s certainly an unusual concept; on paper, “dancing violinist” is bound to raise a few eyebrows. However, Stirling has brought her vision to life, commanding a hugely energetic and vibrant show in a packed Hammersmith Apollo as part of the Brave Enough tour. And what a “show” it was, bringing fresh meaning to the word.
With an action-packed set ranging from live magic tricks to playing the Harry Potter theme on a children’s violin, the former America’s Got Talent contestant never once dropped an ounce of energy. There was moonwalking and pirouetting throughout Love’s Just a Feeling, plus a Bollywood-style number during Mirage that went down a treat with the crowd – all without distracting from her sheer technical skill as a musician. Joined by four talented dancers for polished group routines, and two band members who managed to convincingly bring a range of musical styles to the stage, this was a shared performance brimming with talent. Stirling herself danced perfectly in synchronicity, showcasing her extraordinary ability as a dancer and multitasker too.
The night was equally an exhibition of violin and dance, but the entire visual production was also a performance in itself. The staging was simple, with just six screens for graphics, but a further silkscreen of projections brought an extra layer of magic to the show. Stirling had at least five costume changes, whilst the light disply was dazzling but too dizzying and often overpowering.
“I’m going to share a lot about myself with you,” the Crystallize singer told the room, and she frequently shared her personal reflections in between numbers. There was a motivational speech about following dreams preceding The Arena, whilst the emotional opening-up about the death of her bandmate Gavi meant there was not a dry eye in the house during Gavi’s Song. Her eagerness to connect with her audience was mutually reflected in their standing ovations and cheers.
Stirling’s purely instrumental pieces felt more alive and authentic than the vocal performances achieved through slightly awkward background music videos. It’s odd for a concert of this nature to barely include singing, but this performer has found a unique, quirky musical equation that works; it may not be for everyone, but it needs to be seen to be believed. Better yet, it’s even more spectacular live on stage.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information about Lindsey Stirling and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Hold My Heart here: