Lindsey Stirling at Auckland's Powerstation Feb 14 2015 [Concert Review]
currently: listening to 'Electric Daisy Violin' by Lindsey Stirling.
When I queued up for Lindsey Stirling outside of Powerstation, I didn't really expect to be met with a crowd of people wearing party dresses and steam punk. But Lindsey Stirling isn't a typical act I'd see.
The violist performer, who was showcased on America's Got Talent and then found popularity on YouTube, has an eclectic and varied group of fans which is a glimpse of her brand of music. From rock to dubstep, her energetic and vibrant violin songs, matched with equally energetic dance moves, her videos have attracted 6 million channel subscribers and 900 million views. So while it was surprising for Lindsey to tour to New Zealand, I guess it shouldn't have been that surprising that the Powerstation venue did feel close to full capacity.
It was a pretty long wait between support act and Lindsey. I can't even remember for the life of me who the DJ was, but a set that lasted almost from 7.30pm-8.40pm was a bit tiresome, and I felt pretty restless. Obviously the fact that the couch next to us had brought themselves a pizza just also started the hanxious in me (hungry anxious). But the crowd was very much the same, as any moment the DJ stepped off stage, everyone cheered in anticipation for Lindsey. Poor DJ.
When Lindsey did arrive on stage at 9.10pm, the audience had already been teased enough into excitement. Opening with 'Beyond the Veil', Lindsey didn't need to say anything as she sprung onto stage. Literally, sprung. The girl is like a little dancing cricket, or that violin playing grasshopper from that old Disney cartoon.
As a former violin player, it constantly astounds me that she's able to dance so much and play violin flawlessly. I played violin for 7 years, couldn't even play violin properly while lying down (trust me I tried). Yet Lindsey Stirling the little bouncing pixie is kicking her foot everywhere. It's astonishing. And it was clear she was feeding off the audience's energy who were definitely enjoying the vibe. There was a lot of grinding going on from a couple in front of me - the guy looked like he was partying at Rhythm & Vines. The consequences of going to a Lindsey Stirling concert on Valentine's Day perhaps.
It took about three songs before she finally took a break to speak to the audience, before again launching into another heavy dance-related song, 'Shadows'. Honouring the original video concept with the dancing shadow on screen, you kind of forgot that this was one girl and two back-up band members occupying the stage. Throughout the night, she would continue to run around to all corners of the stage, violin in hand, and endless bounds of energy on display.
She took some moments in the show to honour the country she was in and the day it was. She explained that earlier before she appeared on stage, she was rushing to relearn a song she had filmed in New Zealand last time she was here, only to wing the second part of the song (not that I could even tell - I didn't even realise the song was a Lord of The Rings reference.) And because it was Valentine's Day, a cover of John Legend's 'All of Me' was more than fitting as people sang along to the parts they knew, or kissed their partners, or in some cases inappropriately held each other. The audience's singing was at least much better than their clapping skills, who were really struggling to stay in time to a song.
I think the highlight for me personally was Lindsey's performance of 'Shatter Me'. The song, which was expressing her struggle to "break free" and discover her individuality, had a very different emotional energy around it. It could be seen in the way she was playing, with her dance moves, seemed more purposeful and larger. And this definitely seemed to be felt by others the crowd cheered and moved along, and some guy near the sound desk loudly sobbed.
The entire set from Lindsey was only 90 minutes long, but I think it was quite a fascinating and different concert experience. My love of how awesome the violin is was only reignited from watching her, and Lindsey's energy was clearly a contagious feeling throughout the audience. If she wasn't dancing her feet off I'm sure her energy to play the violin would have lasted for hours more.