Tag Archives: Lindsey Stirling

Coffee, Comics, and Wine Coming from Musicians – Is This A New Fad?

co-written by Katherine Amy Vega & Nate Wert

March, 2020 – in just a few short months, the world went from whispers about a mysterious new virus overseas to a growing buzz around the virus and some signs of concerns. In mid-March, the unthinkable happened: the bars, concert halls, stadiums, and every other live music venue went dark as the virus took root and started to spread quickly worldwide. 

As the music world reeled from the sudden and shocking shutdown – and as it became painfully apparent that we would likely be throwing a birthday party for the “two weeks to flatten the curve” promise – bands started looking into different ways to stay relevant during the shutdown. 

During the past year, we have seen releases of coffee, graphic novels, and wine from the likes of Lamb of God, Jimmy Eat World, and Incubus.

In August of 2020, Lamb of God announced their Memento Mori medium roast coffee, in collaboration with Nightflyer Roastworks, owned by the guitarist of Between The Buried and Me.

Jimmy Eat World recently made their 555 graphic novel with z2 Comics, conceptualized from the uncharacteristically sci-fi music video for “555”, available for pre-orders with an expected release date of May 21, 2021.

Incubus’ Make Yourself Foundation has a long history of partnering with various organizations over the years – at least 47 since 2003 – and is partnering with Rebellium Wines on the limited stock “Our Love” Rosé. The label was designed by artists at Secure the Arts, an organization whose ethos is described simply as: “Rebels, trouble makers, the round pegs in the square holes.

One might think it is possible that Claudio Sanchez of Coheed and Cambria with The Amory Wars comic series, and Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer) with Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, largely paved the way for such releases from musicians. Each of Coheed and Cambria’s studio albums (except The Color Before the Sun) tell a chapter of The Amory Wars, beginning with the release of the album Second Stage Turbine Blade in 2002. As a descendant of northern Italian winemakers, Keenan’s passion for winemaking is in his blood: the aptly titled 2010 documentary Blood Into Wine offers insight into his journey, creativity, and personal growth involved in this fruitful endeavor. 

This begs the question as to whether these were aspirations of other artists prior to the pandemic.

Comics & Graphic Novels

Long before becoming frontman of the legendary My Chemical Romance, a young Gerard Way found his passion in comics. Pursuing a career in comics, in 1999 Way graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He created Eisner-award winning The Umbrella Academy series (2007) – which went on to become a wildly popular series on Netflix that has a third season in the works – followed by comic mini-series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (2013) and co-founded DC Comics’ Young Animal imprint (2016). 

Canadian electropop artist Lights wrote and illustrated her own comic Skin&Earth – a story of a girl looking for hope in a hopeless world – along with her album by the same name in 2017. Following suit, dancing electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling, well known for editing her own music videos, creating the costumes she wears, and having a huge hand in the choreography of her videos and shows, released her own comic book Artemis in 2019. In it, the story of her album of the same name comes to life, adding another layer of complexity to the already fantastic album.

In 2004, Courtney Love co-wrote the manga series Princess Ai about a female rock star that Love described as, “like my alter ego, bust in a fantasy setting.” The manga was illustrated by Ai Yazawa, the acclaimed artist behind the award-winning music-based manga NANA (2000-2009), which focuses on the pursuits, rise, relationships, and mentality of members of the fictional bands Black Stones (aka BLAST) and Trapnest.

z2 Comics actually specializes in helping musicians tell stories through graphic novels. In addition to Jimmy Eat World, they have worked with Poppy, Gorillaz, Machine Gun Kelly, Dance Gavin Dance, and Ice Nine Kills, to name a few.  

In May of 2017, MentalFloss.com offered “10 Musicians Who Have Also Written Comic Books”, detailing some interesting releases from Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave), Rob Zombie, Tyrese, Jane Wiedlin (The Go-Go’s), and more. Interestingly, many of the musicians mentioned explore post-apocalyptic themes in their comics in their pre-pandemic releases.

Coffees

Touring is a grind in and of itself, and many bands turn to coffee to wake themselves up in the morning and keep themselves going throughout the day. Indeed, DrinksFeed.com posted “Metal bands with coffee brands” in February 2020, confirming that many bands have offered their own branded brews, including Korn, Metallica, and Judas Priest.  Separate from their bands’ branding, David Ellefson of Megadeth owns the coffee business Ellefson Coffee Co., and Joey Kramer of Aerosmith offers a subscription for his coffee brand Rockin’ & Roastin’.

Lamb of God’s second signature coffee, the Overlord dark roast, was revealed in December of 2020. Frontman Randy Blythe mused, “I like my coffee strong, dark, and BLACK like my soul.” Both blends’ beans were grown in El Salvador. In collaboration with J Gursey Coffee, Korn first offered nu metal fans the chance to “Wake the F Up” with some fair trade Korn Koffee in 2018.

Green Day dropped a sustainably grown organic coffee through Oakland Coffee Works in 2019, which was named “Father of All… Dark Roasts” – a name derived from their thirteenth studio album Father of All Motherfuckers (censored as Father of All… or FOAMF) released in 2020, but recorded prior to the game-changing year. 

Wines, Beer, & Liquor

Wines that Rock boasts the production of wines for many artists, such as All Time Low, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, KISS, and for Graceland and Elvis Presley’s estate. Made for The King of Rock ‘N Roll’s 86th birthday, the limited-edition wine is quite reasonably priced at only $24 a bottle.

Bottles of wine from Wines that Rock

Slayer’s Reign in Blood red wine comes in tantalizing packaging consisting of blood-like red wax dripped from the cap, Slayer branding, an inverted typographical cross, a limited edition coffin-shaped box, and other features, resulting in quite a work of art inside and out that appeals to both wine aficionados and music memorabilia collectors.

Over the last two decades, craft beer has enjoyed an explosion in popularity. Unlike wine and many other alcoholic drinks, many beers take two weeks or less to go from the raw materials to a cold, refreshing beer. As the turnaround time is much shorter, it is far easier to set up a collaboration that is still relevant when it comes out. A great example of this is the ongoing collaboration between the Deftones and San Diego-based Belching Beaver. By far, the most popular of the six beers to come out of this is the “Phantom Bride,” first brewed in 2016.

Dogfish Head created “American Beauty,” a Grateful Dead-inspired beer with granola and wildflower honey which was first released in 2013. Less Than Jake offered a limited edition beer by JDub’s Brewing Co. in 2018. Last, but certainly not least, is the Queen creation appropriately named Bohemian Lager. Brewed in Pilsen – the Bohemian now-Czech Republic city where the Pilsner style originated from – the limited edition beer was brewed in 2015 for the 40th anniversary of “Bohemian Rhapsody“.  

Finally, we have liquor. First is the Motorhead vödka made in Malmköping in Sweden since 2019. Motorhead also partnered with Hillrock to make some very limited bourbon, retailing for a whopping $275 per bottle.

Bob Dylan unveiled a line of whiskeys called Heaven’s Door in 2018. Multiple artists have their own tequila brands, such as Justin Timberlake, Rita Ora, Sammy Hagar, and Nick Jonas. Timberlake entered the tequila business in 2009, co-founding 901 Tequila – which was rebranded as Sauza 901 when Beam Inc acquired a stake in 2014. With hopes to push boundaries in the industry as a female-founded brand, Ora launched Próspero Tequila in the US in 2019.

Rita Ora

Hagar has been in the tequila business for almost 30 years, having launched the award-winning Cabo Wabo brand in 1991. In contrast to the once-Van Halen frontman, Jonas is the most green of the listed musicians, having joined the game in 2019 with Vanilla One.

These are just a few of the many types of alcoholic beverages that musicians have owned, made, or collaborated on. Ultimate Classic Rock shared an impressive list of “73 Rock Star Beer, Wine and Booze Brands.”

While the pandemic has indubitably unleashed a tsunami of projects that fall outside the typical domain of the music industry, the question one must ask when examining said projects for originality is: are these artists trailblazers, going down a path none have tread before, or are they innovators in their own right who take a path others have cut before them to bring a product to market that the world might not have expected from the source? The overwhelming body of evidence is that in the decade or so before the pandemic began, the trends in the industry were increasingly leaning toward this path. As such, releasing coffees, graphic novels, and wines during the pandemic may not be a unique course of action, but it does allow for creative release in a different medium, and perhaps an opportunity for many of them to manifest a once-dormant dream into a delectable reality.

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REVIEW: Lindsey Stirling Enthralls in Hometown Show at Comerica Theatre (11-23-19)

PHOENIX — There is an age-old argument over when exactly the Christmas season starts. Some would say that the day after Halloween is the official date that you can start preparing for Christmas, and others argue that the day after Thanksgiving, and not a day before, is the proper date to throw some Christmas music on and start feeling festive. It should be postulated that neither of these are correct: The first day that it officially feels like Christmas is the day of the first concert in Lindsey Stirling’s annual winter tour.

The tour is in its third year now, first named “Warmer in the Winter” in 2017, “The Wanderland Tour” in 2018 and now “Warmer in the Winter” again. Stirling, an Arizona native, noted during the show that the name came from all of the warm winters she spent here in Arizona. “The Wanderland Tour” bypassed Arizona, which may possibly explain why the tour changed names last year.

Arizona winters are indeed warm, and this one was no exception up until earlier this week. As the doors opened and the public began pouring into Comerica Theatre in Downtown Phoenix, there was a chill in the air, one that announced that winter actually does come to Arizona. In the moments leading up to the first wisp of smoke from the machine on stage, the audience filtered into the theatre and found their seats with a growing buzz of anticipation, as excited conversations built toward a crescendo as showtime drew closer. All ages had come out to see Lindsey Stirling, from the wide-eyed young girls who wore dresses that looked much like the dresses that Stirling wears in her music videos, to the older fans who looked like they were ready for a Sunday morning church service. For the young, they had come to see their hero. For the older, to see an artist who has redefined what it means to be a violinist. No one left disappointed. 

Lindsey Stirling
| Photographer:
Mark Greenawalt © All Rights Reserved

The “Warmer in the Winter” tour was a delight in every way possible. From the first few moments after the smoke machines kicked on to announce the start of the show until the final notes of the last song, “I Wonder While I Wander,” each and every second was packed with magic. Stirling and her dancers moved effortlessly through incredibly difficult maneuvers, drawing the crowd in. She is well known for her violin skills and her dancing, but she is also an incredible singer with a wicked sense of humor. Backed by a talented band including Kit Nolan on the keyboard and Drew Steen on the drums, Stirling danced, sang, and cracked jokes throughout the night. 

Lindsey Stirling
| Photographer:
Mark Greenawalt © All Rights Reserved

The production includes special effects, props, and costuming that inspire awe and joy. The backdrop was a massive screen, which was one of the key elements to the show. Throughout the night, it would be used to show a clip of Stirling’s alter ego Phebla, become a backdrop of the universe while she played “Between The Twilight” from her newest album Artemis, and finally to have us fly through a field of mushrooms as a nod to Alice In Wonderland during “Carol of the Bells.” She explained that she named the album after Artemis because Artemis is the Goddess of the moon, and the moon brings light into the darkness. 

Her concerts are always an inspirational and moving experience because heartfelt speeches in between songs are a regular part of the show. She told the audience, “I want you to think about how amazing you are, because I think that’s something you may not tell yourself enough…every single person in this room is incredible and powerful…as I play this song, maybe even close your eyes and see yourself for how beautiful you are and for your own light, because the world needs every single person to shine.” As she started to play “Between The Twilight”, the spotlight turned off, and the screen behind her showed the universe, or the stars in it at least. The ethereal sound took the audience on a journey of light, of sound, of beauty.

Stirling is also a fierce advocate for her fans. After a visually stunning “We Three Gentlemen,” She gave an emotional speech, talking about her journey to get where she was. She then told the audience “Nobody else can write your story. Never let anyone else tell you what you can do, what you can’t do, what you’re good at, what you’re not good at — because you’re the only one who knows what you can do, what’s inside of you.” She admitted that her insecurities had not changed from before she found fame until now. 

Lindsey Stirling
| Photographer:
Mark Greenawalt © All Rights Reserved

Stirling spoke at length, her voice quivering a bit as she talked about losing her best friend to cancer 4 years ago, and her dad 3 years ago. It was an emotional, vulnerable speech. She spoke about angels and how she felt they surrounded her. This led into “Angels We Have Heard on High,” during which she stood at the top of the stairs in front of the screens with a mesmerizingly beautiful light that followed her every move with her bow. It was the most impactful song of the show. 

She spoke with gratitude of how much she appreciated the shows in Arizona, saying that she looked forward to them because, “I feel like this is my family.

“Thank you guys so much for coming! It’s only because of you guys and the support I had from home from the very beginning that I am here. Thank you.” 

Lindsey Stirling
| Photographer:
Mark Greenawalt © All Rights Reserved

During Stirling’s “favorite song to play,” “Hallelujah,” the tone switched away from happy, jovial, and infectious. The entire venue was utterly captivated by the otherworldly beautiful sound of the violin and backing guitar. There were some in the audience wiping away tears as the last notes faded away and Stirling again thanked everyone.

There are those that dedicate their life to the mastery of the violin, and others who train to lead the dance troupe at the theatre. To be able to do both at once – and do it well – is rare indeed. As the show started it became apparent the immense amount of planning and attention to detail that went into each and every step of this spectacular display. Each costume change was so well-planned that it would not be noticed or delay the show, and each dance move was tightly choreographed. Stirling has a zest for performing, a love for the fans, and a respect for her craft that lends itself to a show that would be hard to equal. 

Lindsey Stirling
| Photographer:
Mark Greenawalt © All Rights Reserved

Everyone had gathered for a concert, but those in attendance received so much more than that. Viewing the show through the eyes of one who has seen many, it was an incredible, exciting show — one that lingers in the back of the mind. She is a wonderful role model to the young that view her as a giant. They aspire to one day reach her greatness after witnessing the impact of her beauty and grace.

Lindsey Stirling
| Photographer:
Mark Greenawalt © All Rights Reserved

Stirling has a self-awareness that gives strength and power to those around her, saying what people need to hear before they even know they need to hear it. She is, in a word, rare. She is a once in a generation talent who has captured the imagination of the young, inspires the broken and gives peace to all who hear her. As the show ended and we walked into the cold night air of her hometown, it was hard not to feel refreshed and ready to celebrate the season. And that, in the end, is the magic of Lindsey Stirling.

Photo Gallery

Photographer: Mark Greenawalt

Photography © Mark Greenawalt
All Rights Reserved

Evanescence Release Official Music Video for Latest Single “Hi-Lo” Featuring Lindsey Stirling

LOS ANGELES – Transcendent, two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band Evanescence have released the official music video for their latest single “Hi-Lo”, featuring a virtuosic violin solo by acclaimed Billboard Award-winning electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling. Watch the music video HERE.

Off the latest Evanescence album Synthesis“Hi-Lo” marks the first time front woman Amy Lee and Stirling have collaborated on a track together, and features the full band backed by an orchestra and Lee’s signature powerhouse vocals. Directed by P.R. Brown, the video includes live performance footage from Evanescence’s critically acclaimed Synthesis tour along with orchestra footage. Stirling makes a cameo to deliver her signature blend of dance moves while performing a powerful electronic violin solo. The song was written by Amy Lee and Will Hunt and arranged by David Campbell.

Stream and Purchase “Hi-Lo”:

All Retailers  |  Spotify  |  Apple Music  |  iTunes

Lindsey Stirling - Photography: Shervin Lainez
Lindsey Stirling
Photography: Shervin Lainez

Tickets for Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling North American
Co-Headline Amphitheater Tour on Sale Now!

Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling will embark on a co-headlining 2018 summer amphitheater tour across North America. The tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off July 6 in Kansas City, MO at the Starlight Theatre and will make stops in 31 North American cities.  Tickets are available now at  LiveNation.com. Both artist’s shows will be accompanied by a full orchestra, highlighting both acts musicality and their incredible performance abilities that continue to blow fans away. The orchestrated performances will also perfectly accent the astounding amphitheater venues across the U.S. and Canada that the two will be performing in, making for a magical summer evening.

Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling 2018 Tour Dates:

 

DATECITYVENUE
Friday, July 06, 2018Kansas City, MOStarlight Theatre
Saturday, July 07, 2018St. Louis, MOHollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Monday, July 09, 2018Detroit, MIDTE Energy Music Theatre
Tuesday, July 10, 2018Chicago, IL+Ravinia Festival
Thursday, July 12, 2018Noblesville, INRuoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Saturday, July 14, 2018Cincinnati, OHRiverbend Music Center
Tuesday, July 17, 2018Camden, NJBB&T Pavilion
Wednesday, July 18, 2018Mansfield, MAXfinity Center
Friday, July 20, 2018Charlotte, NCPNC Music Pavilion
Saturday, July 21, 2018Raleigh, NCCoastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
Tuesday, July 24, 2018Bristow, VAJiffy Lube Live
Wednesday, July 25, 2018Uncasville, CTMohegan Sun Arena
Friday, July 27, 2018Toronto, ONBudweiser Stage
Saturday, July 28, 2018Saratoga Springs, NYSaratoga Performing Arts Center
Friday, August 10, 2018Holmdel, NJPNC Bank Arts Center
Saturday, August 11, 2018Wantagh, NYNorthwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Tuesday, August 14, 2018Simpsonville, SCHeritage Park Amphitheatre
Wednesday, August 15, 2018Atlanta, GAState Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park
Friday, August 17, 2018Tampa, FLMIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Saturday, August 18, 2018West Palm Beach, FLCoral Sky Amphitheatre
Monday, August 20, 2018Jacksonville, FLDaily’s Place
Wednesday, August 22, 2018New Orleans, LABold Sphere Music at Champions Square
Friday, August 24, 2018Dallas, TXStarplex Pavilion
Saturday, August 25, 2018The Woodlands, TXCynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Tuesday, August 28, 2018Albuquerque, NMIsleta Amphitheater
Wednesday, August 29, 2018Phoenix, AZAk-Chin Pavilion
Friday, August 31, 2018Chula Vista, CAMattress Firm Amphitheatre
Saturday, September 01, 2018Irvine, CAFivePoint Amphitheatre
Tuesday, September 04, 2018Los Angeles, CAGreek Theater
Wednesday, September 05, 2018Mountain View, CAShoreline Amphitheatre
Friday, September 07, 2018Auburn, WAWhite River Amphitheatre
Saturday, September 08, 2018Ridgefield, WASunlight Supply Amphitheater

Featured (top) photo by Paul Brown

Evanescence & Lindsey Stirling Announce North American Co-Headline Amphitheater Tour

LOS ANGELES (Mar 6, 2018) – Transcendent, two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band Evanescence and acclaimed Billboard Award-winning electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling today announce their co-headlining 2018 summer amphitheater tour across North America. The tour, produced by Live Nation, will kick off July 6 in Kansas City, MO at the Starlight Theatre and will make stops in 31 North American cities. The trek will wrap September 8 in Ridgefield, WA at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater.

Tickets On Sale To General Public Starting Friday, March 9 at LiveNation.com

Artists’ pre-sales will begin tomorrow (Wednesday, March 7) at 10am local time. Tickets for the tour will go on sale to the general public beginning Friday, March 9 at 10am local time at LiveNation.com.   Evanescence will offer a limited number of VIP packages for purchase that include premium seating, attending sound check and a champagne toast with Evanescence.  Visit Evanescence.com for full details.

“Lee firmly re-establishes herself as one of rock’s pre-eminent vocalists, exhibiting an impressive range that still packs a wallop…a synthesis of rock, classical and EDM” – Variety

Evanescence - Photography: Paul Brown
Amy Lee, Evanescence | Photography: Paul Brown

Lindsey Stirling will also offer a limited number of VIP packages for purchase that include premium seating, a pre-show party, and exclusive merchandise.  Visit LindseyStirling.com for full details.  VIP Packages will go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday, March 7) at 10:00 am local time.

“Live, Stirling’s performance takes on a new level of respect as you see her stiff left arm holding the violin while her body twists, contorts and moves around. She never misses a note or beat as her music carries the listener on a whirlwind of instrumentals.” – Creative Loafing

Lindsey Stirling - Photography: Shervin Lainez
Lindsey Stirling | Photography: Shervin Lainez

Both artist’s shows will be accompanied by a full orchestra, highlighting both acts musicality and their incredible performance abilities that continue to blow fans away. The orchestrated performances will also perfectly accent the astounding amphitheater venues across the U.S. and Canada that the two will be performing in, making for a magical summer evening.

The two artists recently collaborated on the song, “Hi-Lo” from the latest Evanescence album, Synthesis, which features a virtuosic violin solo by Lindsey Stirling.  Listen to the track HERE.

EVANESCENCE AND LINDSEY STIRLING 2018 TOUR DATES:

DATE

CITY

VENUE

Friday, July 06, 2018Kansas City, MOStarlight Theatre
Saturday, July 07, 2018St. Louis, MOHollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Monday, July 09, 2018Detroit, MIDTE Energy Music Theatre
Tuesday, July 10, 2018Chicago, IL*+Ravinia Festival*
Thursday, July 12, 2018Noblesville, INRuoff Home Mortgage Music Center
Saturday, July 14, 2018Cincinnati, OHRiverbend Music Center
Tuesday, July 17, 2018Camden, NJBB&T Pavilion
Wednesday, July 18, 2018Mansfield, MAXfinity Center
Friday, July 20, 2018Charlotte, NCPNC Music Pavilion
Saturday, July 21, 2018Raleigh, NCCoastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
Tuesday, July 24, 2018Bristow, VAJiffy Lube Live
Wednesday, July 25, 2018Uncasville, CTMohegan Sun Arena
Friday, July 27, 2018Toronto, ONBudweiser Stage
Saturday, July 28, 2018Saratoga Springs, NYSaratoga Performing Arts Center
Friday, August 10, 2018Holmdel, NJPNC Bank Arts Center
Saturday, August 11, 2018Wantagh, NYNorthwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
Tuesday, August 14, 2018Simpsonville, SCHeritage Park Amphitheatre
Wednesday, August 15, 2018Atlanta, GA*TBD*
Friday, August 17, 2018Tampa, FLMIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Saturday, August 18, 2018West Palm Beach, FLCoral Sky Amphitheatre
Monday, August 20, 2018Jacksonville, FLDaily’s Place
Wednesday, August 22, 2018New Orleans, LABold Sphere Music at Champions Square
Friday, August 24, 2018Dallas, TXStarplex Pavilion
Saturday, August 25, 2018The Woodlands, TXCynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Tuesday, August 28, 2018Albuquerque, NMIsleta Amphitheater
Wednesday, August 29, 2018Phoenix, AZAk-Chin Pavilion
Friday, August 31, 2018Chula Vista, CAMattress Firm Amphitheatre
Saturday, September 01, 2018Irvine, CAFivePoint Amphitheatre
Wednesday, September 05, 2018Mountain View, CAShoreline Amphitheatre
Friday, September 07, 2018Auburn, WAWhite River Amphitheatre
Saturday, September 08, 2018Ridgefield, WASunlight Supply Amphitheater

*On Sale TBA
+not a Live Nation date

REVIEW: Lindsey Stirling Spreads Christmas Cheer with “Warmer in the Winter” Tour Finale in Phoenix 12-23-17

PHOENIX — It was nearly Christmas Eve as Lindsey Stirling’s fans gathered at Comerica Theatre. Donning their Santa caps and winter scarves, they fell down the rabbit hole that is the visually stunning show on the Warmer in the Winter tour. The last show on Stirling’s tour landed here, in her hometown of Phoenix, and fans couldn’t be happier to welcome her back home for the holidays. Stirling has recently competed on “Dancing with the Stars”, and her dance partner Mark Ballus was opening for her on the tour with his band Alexander Jean. It was the last show on her tour, and she didn’t slow down for one second, inspiring the audience to follow their dreams, break boundaries and defy industry.

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Stirling emerged from a curtained archway, sparkling in ruffles of metallic purple, silver and gold playing “All I Want for Christmas”. Surrounding her were snow-covered illuminated houses, straight from a children’s book.  She was joined by her four dancers, and together they ignited the audience with their smiles and choreography.

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

For the next number, snowflakes swirled in the background as the notes to “Frosty the Snowman” and “Let it Snow” were merged.  The dancers twirled with black umbrellas that sprinkled snow as they glided across the stage.  The Christmas spirit was alive and swelling inside the theatre as Stirling performed “Warmer in the Winter”, in which she both sang and played violin, and the classic fiddle song “I Saw Three Ships.” Visions of the ocean and pirates flickered on the screen as dancers appeared in plaid skirts with bouncing steps.

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

After a short musical break, Stirling reemerged in a stunning sheer dress adorned with sparkling silver sequins. She and her bandmates sat down on the floor toward the front of the stage for a special treat.  Stirling had laid out “instruments” for them all to play: two kazoos, a toy piano and a tiny violin.  She told the crowd that she had an advantage because her instrument wasn’t a toy, it was the violin that most children start playing on at the age of 5. She laughed, saying “this one’s name is Pickles” as she held the tiny violin in the air.  Together the group serenaded the crowd with a medley of tunes starting with “Jingle Bells”, merging into the Harry Potter theme, and winding down with a saucy “Santa Baby”.

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

At the end of the group’s medley, the pianist Kit challenged Stirling to play “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on the tiny violin, claiming “it’s what the audience is really wondering.” And she smiled, rising to the challenge as she played about 20 seconds of the fast-paced classic fiddle song. The crowd erupted in cheers as they quickly cleared the little instruments from the stage.

The first few notes of “Crystalize” fell over the crowd, mesmerizing them as Stirling elegantly danced across the stage in a mist, with slivers of light casting eerily beautiful shadows over her. The audience listened as if under a spell, being broken only by Stirling herself, as she addressed the crowd before her next number. She spoke powerful words about her own experiences with anorexia and self-esteem.  She reminded the crowd, as they listened to the next song, to remember that even if they don’t see the beauty in themselves “someone sees the beauty in you.” She then went on to perform “Hallelujah” with the curtain closed and only her guitarist to accompany her. The curtains then opened as dancers joined her on stage to perform “Angels We Have Heard on High”, wearing swaths of white fabric that draped and swirled around them as though they were angels themselves.

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

For the last part of the show, Stirling emerged once again in a different costume; a shining pink strapless dress, with her iconic marching band hat, with white feathers reaching towards the sky. The show pulsed with excitement as lights and sound were pushed to an impressive high. After a stunning rendition of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”, Stirling went right into “The Grinch”, where her dancers flowed across the stage in red sequins. They held giant red feather fans. At one point covered Stirling, who emerged from the fans in shorts after shedding her ruffled skirt, ready to dance about on the stage. They continued with “Carol of the Bells” as the stage lights flickered with the beat, a visual feast for the eyes and ears.

Lindsey Stirling - Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
Lindsey Stirling
Photo Credit: Katherine Amy Vega
© Kataklizmic Design. All Rights Reserved

Before the last number, Stirling addressed the audience one more time and shared her family tradition of wearing matching PJs every year. “Christmas C’mon”, with a track of vocals by Becky G, rang through the theatre, as lights and dancers in matching pajamas spum around the stage.  Once finished they left the stage, but the audience waited, clapping and yelling. Stirling reappeared to the ample applause of the crowd and shared a very personal story. She said while she usually likes to leave a crowd with a big number so she can read on their instagram that they just “went to a violin concert and got their face melted off.” This time, however,  she was going to close on a more personal note. She shared the story of the loss of her father last year around this time, and that this song was very dear to her. She asked the audience to remember those they loved and hold them close, and played “Silent Night” to close out the night.

The “Warmer in the Winter” Tour was like a traveling snow globe, shaken up with a wonderland of lights, sounds, and dancing. Stirling touched hearts with her words and music, and spread smiles with her jokes and shining personality. As people poured from the theatre that night, they were ready to celebrate not just Christmas, but their family, friends and loved ones and everything that they held dear.

PHOTO ALBUM

by Katherine Amy Vega

All Content © Kataklizmic Design
All Rights Reserved.

PHOTOS: Lindsey Stirling – Comerica Theatre 11-12-16

PHOENIX — Lindsey Stirling, the awe-inspiring dancing violinist, brought her Brave Enough Tour to Comerica Theatre last night. Hailing from Gilbert, Arizona, it’s no surprise that the venue posted low ticket warnings on social media, and a horde of fans came out to see her live.

High production light shows and other grand visual effects are a staple of her concerts, and they make for a truly magical experience. Watching her spirit take flight when she does what she was meant to do, and fought to succeed, sends chills through your body. Lindsey Stirling is a strong inspiration and encouragement for her fans, especially in Arizona, to aspire for great things and persevere.

PHOTO ALBUM
by Katherine Amy Vega

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