Lindsey Stirling & Speelburg | Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith London | 14/10/2019

The internet has managed to give a voice to so many individuals. Some with incredibly diverse and unique talents. Crossing genres and thresholds into a new universe of appreciation. It is perhaps one of the strongest reasons for modern diversity in music. Everyone can find, listen and understand a lot more music, thanks to the internet. In the early days of YouTube, Lindsey Stirling seemed to understand this, and she developed her unique blend of Electronic dubstep with dance, video and violins. Now, 12 years later, on her 5th album Artemis, she's a long way forward from the dance violinist recording her own videos to eager audiences.

The Eventim Apollo is a large and classical minded theatre. Sat in our hordes before a large stage, one never quite knows what to expect. The first act Speelburg is a three piece indie band centred around songwriter Noah Sacré and may not exactly be what anyone was expecting. It's a tough spot to fill, and especially in warming up to something that is so unique as Lindsey Stirling. They approach with energetic glee, but despite the evident fun, they have a hard time warming the audience. Their sound being a well played but rather standard form of Indie Rock, that it almost feels dwarfed by the large and impressive stage around them. With the best of intentions they approach the crowd, engage them with cheers and interaction, but it only goes so far. It is at very least a fun and try-hard performance. They would perhaps have just fared better in other places, with other bands and with other crowds. Never quite as unique as one might have hoped. [5]

But if Speelburg were a call out, Lindsey Stirling is an answer. Always a part of the visual medium, Lindsey Stirling brings a far more theatrical approach to the stage. Taking the dance performances and music video background and pushing it to the forefront, and then, amplifying it. There are many supporting dancers and various props, set pieces and costumes. Lindsey Stirling is raised on a circular platform, tied up with ropes, blind-folded and intertwined with dancers. All the while there are intermittent videos cast upon the backdrop, that at points seemingly interacts with her own performances and dances. She gracefully and energetically expands the stage to its full potential in a stunning array of dance moves, props and elaborate costumes. Whether these are theatrical period dresses, pirate ship wheels or moveable lights. It is a visual treat.

Lindsey Stirling breaks this up with audience interaction, that is both part of the performance, like in 'Master of the Tides', and in between the performances. This manages to keep everyone engaged, involved and energised. This works to push forth the boundaries of repetitiveness that can occur from the overstimulation of energetic dance performances. Whilst it also adds a more human side to her music, this helps to explore the music in a way that normal instrumental music can struggle to do without vocals. Pushing this demonstrates the struggles that some performers like Lindsey Stirling can have, but also shows an awareness of and an ability to transcend it – even if this tension is felt. A cover medley of British rock songs also functions to help develop this gap.

Most songs played are in support of the new album, Artemis, including tracks like 'Artemis', 'Masquerade', 'underground' and the heartfelt 'Love Goes On and On'; which features Amy Lee on recording, an idol of Lindsey Stirling and like a goal realised for her career. There's a personal side to the whole show, helped by the audience interaction but, perhaps, pushed hard to the crowd. Despite the authenticity, it manages to walk the balance close to being overstated and therefore performed. It's almost as if, despite the entertainment, it is all part of the act and a little spoon fed. It's a strange balance as it is all part of the theatrical identity, the energetic performance and overall positivity that Lindsey Stirling wishes to spread out. [9]

Ultimately, it is a visual treat, a memorable performance and flamboyant step forward for a self made artist. Interestingly her music seemed to differ somewhat live to her recordings; with a little less of the dubstep edge in favour for a greater emphasis on drums, guitars and, of course, loads of her talented violin playing. For a wonderfully dynamic performer, the entire stage, lighting, crew, musicians and dancers are just as energetically varied and powerful. This makes for such a unique concert that calling it a concert, just doesn't feel right.


Facebook: /speelburgmusic/

Twitter: @Speelburg Bandcamp: /

Lindsey Stirling:

Facebook: /lindseystirlingmusic/ Twitter: @LindseyStirling

YouTube: Lindsey Stirling


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