It’s electric; there’s a buzz that fills the crowd and the air, hovering around all of us as we gather to see an icon of the modern age: Lindsey Stirling, violinist, dancer, musician. We arrived an hour before the doors even opened and the line up was already three blocks long, circling around the Vogue Theater in downtown Vancouver.
As the door opened the buzzing grew louder, the line staggered in an effort to control the crowd. The security people were polite, professional, letting everyone know the lay of the land before we ever got to the door. We all knew what was going to happen, and that made getting in simple. No rushing, pushing, or jockeying for position – just quick and excited filing in, we all of us expectant and waiting.
We weren’t expecting an opening band. I’m not sure why. We’ve been to enough concerts, all of us there, and as heavy drums filled every breath we turned as one to the stage, expecting Lindsey herself. What we got, instead, was a new band called Archis. The lead singer of Archis, Dia Frampton, sings on one of the tracks on Lindsey’s new album, Shatter Me – one of two vocalists. The other is Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, so Dia is in good company.
There was a small sense of disappointment that was quickly banished. We were sad that we weren’t getting Lindsey right away, but Archis drove all such feelings away with one thundering song after another, ending with a riveting ascension of drum and vocals that had the audience thrumming along with them. They’re two weeks away from an EP release, which we cannot recommend enough.
As the lights came on and Archis left, we in the crowd watched the stage, waiting. There was a minimalist presentation, and we thought that was all we were getting. Minutes passed. The lights darkened. And then
The minimalism was a screen that was quickly discarded, revealing a storm of light and sound that had to be experienced to be believed. Lindsey herself came out and the only thing louder than the crowd’s adoration was her violin. She played to every possible expectation and then surpassed them, every song and movement an exhibition of power and grace.
She mingled old favorites – Transcendence and Crystallize – with new tracks like Stars Align and Beyond the Veil. She gave us a little bit of history, shared stories of childhood and triumph with us, enchanted us with every story, song, and dance. We got an acoustic set with her two back up musicians, a dance off with her two back up dancers, and not a breath was wasted. We finally ended with the single from the album and the story behind it, and it is a reward for every last bit of faith we have in this impossibly talented performer.
Two solid hours of performance. Grace and music complimented by the use of light and video to craft something special. As much as I love listening to her on YouTube and rocking out to her albums, I cannot urge you to go see her live enough. This is the second best concert I’ve ever seen; I was lucky enough to see Nine Inch Nails opening for David Bowie in Tacoma back when I was sixteen, so, you know, good company.
If you get the chance to see a Lindsey Stirling show, you must go. It is like oxygen, and you will not understand how badly you needed it until you are there.