This past Friday night Lindsey Stirling brought her “Music Box Tour” to the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The venue has hosted many big acts such as Slash, Falling in Reverse, and Less Than Jake in the past few months but none of them brought as many people out as Lindsey Stirling did that night. Doors were set to open at 7PM and a line of eager fans had waited for hours prior to that for their chance to get close to the stage. By the time Stirling was set to take the stage at 9PM there was very little space left in the venue to move around as people were shoulder to shoulder waiting in total anticipation.
For those who are unfamiliar with Lindsey Stirling she is a violinist who became a dancer who blew up on Youtube who became touring musician and is now a contemporary pop culture icon and widely regarded as one of the best live violinists around. At one point she made it onto America’s Got Talent and did well there but while she didn’t make it to the finals time would show that she wouldn’t have to win that contest to achieve a great level of success. Last year her song “Shatter Me” featuring Lzzy Hale broke into the Billboard charts where it peaked at number 2. Soon after that the album would win best Dance/Electronic album in the 2015 Billboard Awards, no small feat and a testament to the level of work and dedication that Lindsey Stirling has invested in her career over the past few years.
The Sherman Theater stage had been transformed by Stirling’s impressive amount of production and it was ever so slightly visible with the dim house lights on prior to the start of her set. As the venue lights switched off the stage became transformed as a single back light flickered to life as Lindsey Stirling jumped on top of a riser as she played the first notes of “Ascendance”. With each passing second of music the stage flashed perfectly in tune with her movements creating a mesmerizing effect, as Stirling hopped off the riser and ran towards the crowd the stage became flooded with a blinding sea of white light. It was when this light came on we truly saw Lindsey Stirling for the first time and she had a smile on her face that would stay there until the end of the set much later that night.
As each song passed it became strikingly obvious that Lindsey Stirling is a masterful performer who truly belongs in the top tier of contemporary violinists. However to simply call her a violinist under mines her art because in reality she is so much more, as she embodies many aspects of visual and performing art into her performance. From the very first song of the evening she demonstrated her impressive fitness as she danced across the stage with ease, twirling, kicking, spinning and more. In fact there were very few moments when Stirling wasn’t in motion to some extent but her creativity doesn’t stop there. Nearly every song was given a different visual treatment, for example zombies danced across the stage as tombstones were shown on the LED screens behind for the song “Moon Trance,” and Stirling danced with copies of her shadow on screens during the Peter Pan inspired “Shadows.”
From a purely technical stand point Lindsey Stirling put on a flawless performance from start to finish and left the crowd smiling when the night came to a close. Her music embodies so much happiness, even the songs that aren’t her own originals such as the epic Video Game medley in the middle of the set. Early on in the night it became clear that the crowd was a mixture of so many different kinds but they were all there for the same reason, happiness. Whether it was a small child, a grown man, a woman in her 20s or somewhere in between everyone was there to have a good time and smile.
The instant Lindsey Stirling came on stage it was almost like a therapeutic release of stress, all the worries of the past week just kind of slipped away as the music began. This was furthered by Stirling’s constant smiles and thankfulness to everyone who came out that night. Happiness can come in many forms but music is truly the purest and Lindsey Stirling has captured it like no one else has been able to. Her music is perfect and her stage show is flawless; anyone who thinks otherwise clearly has never seen her perform before. Lindsey Stirling has come a long way in the past few years, it will be exciting to see where the next few take her but my guess is playing to more people and continuing to spread happiness across the world.