Lindsey Stirling in Nashville Vol. 3

Lindsey Stirling played Fontanel this week (aka Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater), and this was no regular show – it fell on a milestone birthday of someone I love very much.

This was the third time I’ve seen Lindsey. This year’s show seemed to focus more on her and what she wanted to do to improve her own performance and the show itself. Here’s what was different:

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

Woman Power – Lindsey replaced her male backup dancers with women. On stage, she admitted to being the only girl on the tour for the last 2.5 years. Wow… I went on vacation with three male family members last year and thought I was going to lose my mind a few times. The new dancers were fun and talented. They didn’t do anything mind-blowing, but they added a playful, strong girl-power element to the show.

Fewer breaks – We were 10 feet from the stage, so I could see her catch her breath and get tired, which was cool. There were still several stage and costume changes, but they took much fewer breaks between songs than the last time, and the pace moved well.

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

The spotlight – I didn’t realize until the next day, Lindsey was in the spotlight more. Her band members stayed hidden half the time, and the show was about her performing for the audience. The crowd has also grown, as Fontanel holds 4,500 people and was nearly sold out. I believe she has truly come out of her shell and will continue to get bigger and bigger.

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

The songs – The set was awesome. She had a better balance with her songs and the variety of others she covers. For example, gamers love her for covering songs from Zelda, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, etc. She always plays one and thanks the gamers for supporting her from the beginning – they are the reason the became so huge on YouTube (nearly 50M views for Skyrim alone). However this year, she played a compilation and blended the most popular ones together, and it rocked.

The Encore – I was so tickled when we were walking to the car after the show, and my young companion said, “That last song she played was like a bunch of different songs!” I smiled and replied, “That was Phantom of the Opera.” That’s right, she ended the night with the epic song, which I’ve never seen her perform. It was incredible.

Lindsey Stirling Nashville 2015

Bonus – We met her. Because it was a special night, I bought VIP packages. We saw her playing cornhole, met and hugged her, took photos, did the Q&A, watched the sound check, and had a blast. I was able to thank her for being such a great role model. The milestone birthday will never be forgotten. It was 96 degrees outside, the venue was evacuated twice due to lightning, and afterwards I drove through the worst storm I have ever been in. It was an adventure and well worth it!
Be sure to check her out if you haven’t, and feel free to share some love in the comments below!

Lindsey Stirling in Nashville: The Follow Up

Lindsey Stirling played Music City on June 28, and I had the pleasure of seeing for the second time. The first show was great, but she has definitely grown and learned from her strengths and experiences.

Seeing the evolution in her performance from year to year is one of the coolest things I’ve ever witnessed. In 2013, she played the small Cannery Ballroom, which fits about 500 people standing. This year, she played the historic Ryman Theater, which seats more than 2,300.

Show highlights:

1. Set list. She recently released her second album, so she has plenty to pick from. At the first show, she played nearly her whole album. This year, she played for 2.5 hours and had a great mix of new, fan favs, and new songs.

2. Higher attendance. Last year, my RevPub partner and I went. This year, I had to buy six tickets! They were more expensive too. It’s a great example of an up-and-coming artist really making a name for herself. It was my oldest brother’s first concert too, and he’s 26 years old. In another year, she will sell out an even larger venue.

3. Lights and screens. I was impressed with the light show. Every song was different and complemented her playing well. My favorite was the little 8-bit Link that ran along the screen during Zelda Medley.

4. Dancers. Lindsey has a great pair of back-up dancers, but last year there was no room for them. The Ryman’s stage allowed them to dance, play, and have a dance-off during her breaks. They tossed her around and picked her up, all while she never missed a note on the violin.

5. The band. She has a live keyboardist and drummer on stage at all times. This improves sound quality beyond the normal noise that dubstep can sometimes project. I could tell the group really cares for one another, and it was very much like a family. You don’t see that closeness often, especially in bands, because of ego and entitlement issues.

6. A personal view. At one point, Lindsey played a photo slideshow of her growing up. Not only can you hear her emotions and experience in her playing, but you could see that at an early age she loved to play and dance. A lot of performers fill in break time with random messages or images, but Lindsey wants you to know her. I’ve never seen an artist open up on stage the way she did.

If you never seen her, you should. I’ll let this video speak for itself 🙂

Video by pixiegirl2426

Lindsey Stirling in Nashville

It’s easy to let others drag you down. The world is full of doubt, hate, and problems. I am by no means an optimist, but we do sell ourselves short. We talk ourselves out of something before we try it. We doubt others when they have a crazy idea or want to make a change. We pass judgement every day.

This weekend someone who overcame these obstacles inspired me.

Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Sterling with her violin

This adorable violinist played the Cannery Ballroom Friday night and lit up the block with her smile, sparkling outfits, bubbles, and light show.

During her performance, she spoke about those telling her she wasn’t marketable and wouldn’t make it – on national television. Stirling was on America’s Got Talent in 2012 and was told she wasn’t good enough. They said she needed a group to make it work.

Boy, did she prove them wrong.

Two months after her CD release, she graced Music City with her awesomeness. I fell in love with her energy and music, and she is different, which is hard to find nowadays. Once known as a hip-hop violinist, she evolved into her own sound. I love her original music that blends well with dubstep.

The Show

I was a little nervous about how Stirling would be live. I was afraid the dubstep would hum too much, and it was my first instrumental show, besides the symphony, so I wasn’t sure how well I could dance. Happily, I admit I was wrong.

The acoustics were great, and the Cannery was the perfect venue for an instrumental show. There was a real drummer and keyboardist, so the dubstep wasn’t produced on a Macbook (as James says). It was actually better live!

Aside from hearing my favorites from her CD, she played a mix of Micheal Jackson songs, Phantom of the Opera, the Zelda Medley, and Evanescence’s My Immortal. Stirling bounced around stage; her energy radiated through the venue, and I have never seen so many guys dancing. It was one of the most fun shows and diverse crowds I have ever seen.

What We Should Learn

We should never give up on our dreams and goals. This woman was told on national TV, she’d never fill a Vegas venue. She was told she wasn’t good enough even though she was talented. She handled the criticism with grace and style and came out better from it (see Transcendence).

In writing, we often face rejection and criticism. Our articles and stories are ripped to shreds, and we are left to clean up the mess. The important thing to remember is you are good enough. With perseverance and hard work, you can do anything. So keep writing, even if it’s not your best, and do what you need to do to overcome the world’s negativity.

Who do you admire? Feel free to share in the comments section!