Lindsey Stirling triumphs at The Space at Westbury, NY 6-21-14

Lindsey Stirling triumphs at The Space at Westbury, NY 6-21-14

Multitalented  Californian Lindsey Stirling has been dazzling audiences after her appearance on American’s Got Talent in 2010.  Combining modern music with classic violin work,  Stirling has endeared fans of all genres of music with her unique style.  After extensive touring in 2012-2013 news came down that Stirling continue performing with a worldwide tour with support from indie-pop act AJR beginning in North America in May and concluding overseas in November.  Performing three show in five days in the tri-state NY/NJ  area, Stirling brought her talents to The Space at Westbury, NY on Saturday June 21st.

Kick-starting the evening NYC based AJR were first to grace the stage.  Consisting of three brothers  Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met, AJR is a difficult act to categorize.  Mixing pop, traditional singing, electronic, and dubstep the only word to describe this trio is unique.  Having started out street performing around NYC in areas like Central Park and Washington Square Park, they now bring their sound on tour to curious fans.  Keeping the vibe fun and party-like, songs like “After Hours” had the audience dancing with a great beat.  Showing that their influences run deep and broad, other songs such as “Alice by the Hudson” with its smooth vibe were an homage to throwback classics of the Beach Boys.  Featuring clean harmonized singing with some interjection of a melodica group leader, Jack sang blissfully on other songs like “The Green and the Town”.  With each member being talented and able to shine through each song performed they were also all equally personable and upbeat with the room.  Telling everyone how their music was written and recorded in the comfort of their own living room in NYC was not only interesting but inspiring to hear.  Their abilities to harmonize kept going on “Wagon Wheel” featuring ukulele playing by Ryan and everyone clapping along.  With an attention grabbing performance thus far the group saved their hit “I’m Ready” for last and had everyone at The Space smiling.  AJR is without a doubt something different for the pop world of music and worth checking out.

With a crowd diverse in age and background the buzz around the room was exciting as they awaited Stirling’s performance.  For many this was the first time seeing the performer live and all they knew was what they had seen on YouTube and television.  Now in the flesh, reality sank in as Stirling came out in front of a massive screen projecting abstract shapes and colors and started with “Beyond the Veil”.  Sending chills through the floor the echoes of her string work on songs “Mirror House” and “Electric Daisy Violin” resonated through The Space as everyone attentively gazed in amazement.   Performing a full-on dance routine as music flowed from her violin, it looked effortless, but in reality it is extremely difficult to dance and play at this level.

Taking a brief moment to catch her breathe, Stirling addressed an energized audience.  Talking about how she took a solid nine months break from touring to get inspired for the creation of her new album Shatter Me, the audience applauded telling her it was well worth the wait. Changing costumes into a lime green glow in the dark spandex the next track “Night Vision” was stunning visually and musically as Stirling danced around with a transparent orange violin.  The audience was absolutely stunned by the angelic nature of the performance and screams and hollering were abundant leading into “Heist” and “Swag”.  Stirling’s confidence in her ability left that much more of an impression as she played on and without the benefit of vocals her fingers did all the talking.

After the conclusion of “We Are Giants”, the bright screen on the stage faded into home videos of Stirling as a child.  Providing a glimpse into the artist’s history, the video was followed by her appearing on stage in a blue chiffon dress as she began the “Legend of Zelda Medley”.  Provoking more cheers, the stimulating song was complemented by images of the game characters crawling across the video display.  Providing excellent support to Stirling’s performance was her backing band, whose two year efforts she graciously acknowledged.  At this point in the show Stirling and her band broke into an intimate acoustic version of “Transcendence”.  Inviting and warm, the track was perfectly placed at this point in the show giving everyone a sense of closeness regardless of whether they knew one another or not.

Moving on, with so much already having occurred Stirling performed the John Legend cover of “All of Me”.  With a unifying glow from the floor of cellphones and lights held high everyone could be heard singing along each word to the track as Stirling supplied the instrumental.  Magical and breathtaking the best was yet to come when a heavyhearted Stirling conveyed that her grandmother had passed away that very morning.  Noting that she was not able to see her granddaughter perform live due to illness, the next song “Take Flight” was dedicated to her.  Deep, captivating, and at times somber the song sang to the spirit of everyone.  Thereafter the danceable zombie-inspired “Moon Trance” was followed by “Roundtable Rival”, “Master of Tides”, and “Crystallize”.  Each song equally as effective as the last, no one lost interest for even a moment.  That exuberance came to a peak when Stirling concluded the set with her new single “Shatter Me”.  Featuring female rockstar Lzzy Hale of Halestorm, while Lzzy was not there physically to sing the song she was draped on the screen singing  as Stirling lit up the stage.  Screaming for more. the band and Stirling came back out for one more song closing in epic fashion with “Stars Align”.

Lindsey Stirling is without a doubt an extraordinary talent  which can appeal to music fans of all walks of life.  With a clear undertone of darker elements and enough light in the visual aspects of the stage show Stirling is a world class performer that absolutely stuns her audience.  Her style and sound shatter all notions of genre and she has the elegance modern music needs.  Be sure to purchase tickets to see Stirling live and witness this moving  and captivating show.

 

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Frank Malerba
frank@crypticrock.com
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