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!

Artist Spotlight: Blake Best

We at RevPub love music. It’s pulled us through good times and bad, and there’s truly nothing better than a good concert. This month, we’re spotlighting Nashville-area musician and guitar instructor, Blake Best. Be sure to reach out to him and show your support!

blakebest

Contact info: Best Guitar Instruction, 615-406-7268, bbbest1085@gmail.com

Instruments played: Acoustic guitar, electric guitar

RevPub: How long have you been playing, and what made you want to play music?

I have been playing guitar for 15 years. My parents were both avid music fans, and my father was a professional guitarist, so I grew up surrounded by music.

RevPub: What is the most important thing to you in regard to your music?

The most important thing to me is for my music to retain my thoughts and feelings. I write music for me, and I always have. It just happened that others appreciated it and felt a connection to me through it. I also play multiple styles, which has helped keep me versatile and has kept my creativity flowing. I toured for five years as a member of a signed and well marketed metal band, but never gave up playing the rock and alternative music that defined me in my formative years.

RevPub: Who/what are your biggest influences/motivators?

What a question! There’s so many…Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, TRUSTcompany, Adam D and Joel of Killswitch Engage, Boston, Alice in Chains, Robert Englund (an actor but one of my greatest creative influences), my Mom and Dad, and my fiance Lisa. She has always been supportive of me and of my music career. She is my soulmate and encouraged me to continue on my musical journey.

RevPub: What are the most important things you’ve learned throughout your musical career?

Patience and gratitude. The music business is a cut-throat industry full of hard knocks and bumps. I strongly believe that if you’re patient, you’ll get your chance to show everyone what you can do. I also believe gratitude is important. Be thankful of everyone who supports you, because without them, what would you have?

RevPub: Why is music such a big part of your life and who you are as a person?

Music is just part of who I am; it’s natural to me, like breathing. I’ve always found music to be a source of comfort and peace, and I enjoy sharing this with others. Though I enjoy playing and recording and being involved in the music industry, I began teaching guitar in order to share my passion for music in a way I could never do as just a performer. Teaching is a way for me to ensure that others have the opportunity to enjoy music as much as I do. Hopefully, my sons will want to learn so my musical legacy lives on!

Lost Boy, Lost Girl

Artist Spotlight: Ciciley Bailee Hoffman

What do you think of when you think fashion? This month’s artist spotlight may change that.

We are pleased to have stylist and image consultant Ciciley Bailee Hoffman of mode. as out artist spotlight for August. As a long-time friend of the RevPub founders, Ciciley is one of our favorite people ever. She has style, grace, and an awesome presence that we hope you enjoy!

ciciley bailee hoffman

RevPub: What made you want to become a stylist, and how did you get your start?

Art, music, writing, design, dance, and film were a big part of my growing up —  I have four parents who all have different but well-cultivated tastes in such things. I was well surrounded by expression and given ample opportunities to find the form that was right for me. After being admittedly mediocre at painting and music, I found theater. I bounced around from acting to lighting design to set design before eventually landing on costumes in high school, by which time I had fallen in love with fashion and vintage aesthetics. Costuming in theater allowed me to travel from the past to the future to places that lived only in the mind — while existing alongside music, dance, etc. other forms of expression i adored — and I was head over heels. In the meantime, I gained a reputation for being an honest and chic second opinion on things like prom dresses and band looks, which became the personal fashion consulting and artist image work I do now. Theater became films, advertisements, and editorials. I learned to sew in college, and that was the clincher; sewing is a zen paradise to me, and along with the rest, everything just … fit (not to make a bad pun).

RevPub: If you could dress/style anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

Tilda Swinton. She is amazing. She has this fascinating, androgynous look and is notoriously open to avante garde fashion and experimentation. She’s also a feminist, art lover, and a damn good actress. She’s so interesting; I would love to see what we could do together.

As far as films, I would love to style anything directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and/or Marc Caro. They’ve done fabulous work together (The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen), as well as individually, in which entire fantasies are created and executed. And are quite delightful their aesthetic is incredible, their understanding of composition and color is unparalleled. I’d love to add my voice to their visual symphony.

DangerousPetJulie

RevPub: What are your favorite pieces you’ve designed?

Tied for first are a fabulous purse I made myself in college (it’s made out of an upholstery bolt, and I used an industrial sewing machine to get through the thick fabric) and a Captain America costume I made for a film called The Once Mighty with Fighting With Forks. I was approached, designed, and made that piece in five days for under $50, while working full time on other things, so i am proud of it … but I was also bribed with a Lite Brite to pull it off.
But that said, I don’t consider myself a designer. I could never create and execute 12 seasonal cohesive looks with a point of view for runway. I can design and make individual costumes for particular needs, but most of what I do is styling, costume, and wardrobe supervision — meaning I put looks together from pieces made by other people. My favorite piece in that regard is an as-of-now unreleased video I called Dangerous Pet with Chad McClarnon of Best Part Productions; the direction is on point, the two actors are fantastic and gorgeous, and we had classic cars to boot, so the vintage duds I put them in look outstanding.

RevPub: What are you most proud of? Was there anything you really didn’t like after the fact?
I’m most proud of Lime and Davenport, a short film I made in the 48-hour film project in 2012 with Paper Ghost Pictures directed by Motke Dapp. The 48 is a competition that takes place in cities all over the world wherein film making teams are given a genre, character name, prop, and line of dialogue and then two days to write, shoot, edit, and score an entire short film. We got fantasy, and the story is of an unhappy thrower of a lame party who discovers that she can begin the shindig over by squeezing a magic atomizer. Every time she does so, all of the costumes change to help indicate the restart to the audience. The result is around 75 costume changes in seven minutes, which pretty much encapsulates my preferred aesthetic when left to my own devices. If a producer asks me for a demo reel, i send them “L&D.” You can see it here http://vimeo.com/45842050.

TheOnceMightyAccomplishment-wise, however, I am most proud of the fact that I did wardrobe for four films that were selections of the Nashville Film Festival in 2014. Not only is it one of the oldest and most respected film festivals, it’s my hometown festival, too, so that was a thrill. (The films are The Upside of Down, To Be Loved, Bear With Me, and Sorry About Tomorrow).

If I’m ever disappointed in a final product, it’s usually because one cannot see the hat or necklace or another fastidious detail of something I have styled. I am meticulous about each element in every costume I design and exacting about checking test shots and camera monitors to be sure things look as I (and the client) want them to before they go to print or screen (this is why i insist on options and backups). That said, I have a particular fondness for shoes … unfortunately, footwear is generally what ends up on the cutting room floor during editing. Most people don’t realize it, but in films and commercials, the entire bodies of actors are rarely shown. Even shots of people walking down streets and stairs are not generally from the ground up. Fashion editorials tend to show the whole subject, so if Ive got some gear I really want showcased, I bust it out on those.
LadyElvisEditorialForTheDoubleStandard

RevPub: What would you tell someone who wanted to get into fashion?

Hone your style and craft. Start with yourself; be true to what you like and how you want to look, not to trends. If you want to be a designer, draw/draft as often as you can and learn how to make clothes with skill. If you want to be a stylist, style your family. Style your friends. Style everyone who will let you and get adept. Learn to sew. If you want to be a costumer, learn the history of fashion, learn construction, and watch all the good movies, videos, commercials, and television you can. But regardless of what part of fashion interests you, be part of the community and do so confidently. find and use your voice. Oh, and weird doesn’t mean fashionable. Don’t ever mistake overdone or a designer label for style.

 

*All photos courtesy of Ciciley Bailee Hoffman.

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

Artist Spotlight: Meghann Shike (Part 1)

This month, we’re featuring an artist who has two passions: writing and real estate. In order to do anything well, you must believe in what you do, and Meg is a great example of that. The first post will discuss her writing and the next real estate. Feel free to contact her at megshike@kw.com!

Meg ShikeRev Pub: When did you start writing and why?

I have been writing as long as I can remember. I grew up reading Stephen King and Michael Gruber’s, The Good Son, and watching all of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies well before I should have been allowed to be reading or watching any of these. These did two things for me. First, they scared me in the best possible way. Second, they allowed me to disappear into this world that someone else’s imagination created. That’s when I became addicted to writing. I have always wanted to be able to use my imagination to create a world so believable you can slip into it just by turning the pages of my book. Before you know it, hours have gone by and you didn’t even notice because you were so entranced by my writing. While I have been writing all my life, I really got serious about writing in grad school because I learned how to write a novel. I spent the next year after graduation writing my first novel, which is far more writing for my own pursuits than I have ever done in that short a time period.

Rev Pub: Who are your favorite authors and why?

Stephen King: His imagination is astounding and never ending. IT was a pivotal, formative moment in my childhood. IT helped me fall even more in love with Stephen King than I already was. Rose Madder is another one of his books that I really enjoy and feel is a complete world in and of itself.

James Patterson: At this point in time, James Patterson produces, on average, seven books a year. His books aren’t crap either. Believe me. I’ve read a lot of crap. These days, he’s writing all of them with a co-writer. They’re still fun novels and characters to jump in bed with for an afternoon, and when you finish, you only have to wait a month or so for another one. I appreciate that he’s got the creative and business sides of his business rockin! Not all creatives are capable of this.

J.K. Rowling: The detail she creates in her world is incredible. It’s so easy to slip into her imaginary world and live there until I run out of pages. Not to mention the fact that her books are just fun. They got adults reading more and got kids reading for the first time. Both of those deserve major respect.

Rev Pub: What motivates you to write?

What motivates me to write is a need and desire stronger than any other I have felt. Writing is what I have felt called to do since I started reading. I want to give people a world to slip into for an afternoon. As adults, we forget to use our imagination. Sometimes great authors remind us to stop and live a little. I want to be one of those authors. I want you to be able to pick up one of my books and disappear for in a world that is so real it makes you forget about everything on your to-do list.

Rev Pub: Do you have any advice to others on how to work in time to write?

My advice to others if you want to write or whatever your true passion is you just have to do it. If it’s that important to you, just do it. Everything in life that’s worth anything takes work. Writing is the same for me. When I wrote my first novel, it took a year and was my primary focus for that year. I got up every morning, worked out, and then sat at my dining room table/office and wrote for hours.

I will also say, if you want writing to be more than a hobby, then you need to consider it as important as your job. Good writing habits require discipline like getting good at your primary profession does. Also, you have to practice jumping into the writing mindset quicker and quicker. It used to take me hours to get into the mindset and get into the groove cranking out chapters. Today, it takes less and less time. You also have to welcome the moments of inspiration when they come. For me, this means when I see something on the news that’s particular grotesque or ‘effed up that might be inspiration for a future book, I stop and make a note to put with all my other notes. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the mood or if I’m at a party. If you want to write or do something creative, you’ve got to be ready to receive these creative inspirations whenever they come.

Fun at the Nashville Comic Con and Expo

Some things can’t wait. This post is one of those things.

Instead of a traditional story of the month, we decided to talk about the Nashville Comic Con and Expo we attended this past Saturday, Sept. 14. It was actually our first take pics, spend-lots-of-money con!

Highlights

Robert EnglundRobert Englund: I can’t speak for our whole group, but hearing Englund tell stories about shooting the Nightmare on Elm Street movies or share his feelings on the reboot was a real treat. Englund is a cool dude, and he loves the entertainment industry. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. I was blown away by the number of kids ages 10 and under who stood at the mic and asked him questions about his movies — it just shows that the slasher movie is alive and well. Englund treated every fan with the same respect and gratitude his fans showed him.

Costumes: I admit I was impressed by the costumes people walked around in all day. Sure, there were some standard ones you’d find at a party store, and then there were the costumes. The ones that made you stop and ask for a pic because they were so freaking cool. We all were so inspired by the ones who dressed up, we all decided to dress up for the upcoming Wizard World Comic Con in October!

Ghostbuster
This guy’s costume came complete with lights and sound effects!

The Crowd: Everyone was so unbelievably nice. There was no pushing, no fighting, and no attitude. It was a large group of people who were there to have fun. I did not see one person decline a photo op; it didn’t matter what they were doing at the time. The artists talked to you without pressuring you to buy, and you could walk away with almost anything signed.

Merchandise: One tip: bring cash and lots of it. It was no surprise there were dozens of vendors, but the amount of items they brought with them surprised me. There was SO much cool stuff – and it wasn’t just comic books. We found clothes, figures, games, accessories, artwork, hair bows, posters, weapons, stuffed animals, and almost anything else you can imagine.

Master Sword
My son bought a replica of the Master Sword. It’s almost as big as me.
Raven: Teen Titans print
Awesome Raven from Teen Titans print that I framed the next day.

We did miss Maggie and Glen from The Walking Dead, and I would have liked to have stayed for the costume contest, but I can see how the first time can be a little overwhelming. Thousands of people wandered all over the area, and you could easily spend 20-plus minutes at every table browsing through stuff or talking to artists. If you have never been to one, plan to spend at least a few hours there.

If you attended the event, we’d love to hear about your experience, and don’t forget your tickets for Wizard World. Who knows … maybe next year RevPub will have a booth!