LOS ANGELES, CA- In 2019, Lindsey Stirling released her fifth studio album, Artemis. In terms of artistry, this is probably Lindsey’s most artistic effort as her violin skills were set to a cinematic theme. While there are some wonderful vocal features on the album (Amy Lee on “Love Goes On and On” and Elle King on “The Upside”, it’s the magical way that Lindsey casts a spell with her instrument that really shines on this album.
Named after the Greek goddess of the hunt, the wilderness, wild animals, the Moon, and chastity, Stirling really seems to explore each of those various themes throughout the album’s 13 tracks. From the jump, the first three tracks (“Underground”, “Artemis” and “Till the Light Goes Out”), with their kinetic tempo and staccato stringing, invokes “the hunt”, while songs like “Between Twilight” and “Foreverglow” invoke imagery of the moon. The thematic interpretations can be made throughout the album, but it goes without saying that there is a real sense that this album was specially crafted to put the Greek goddess and musical form, and Artemis does just that.
Lindsey was supposed to begin the South American stretch of her Artemis tour in early 2020 when Covid hit. It should be noted that tours are essential for the marketing and support of a newly released album, and this surely left a huge dent in the commercial and promotional plans for the project.
She decided to spend part of the pandemic in Missouri with her daily before returning to Los Angeles to weather the pandemic storm. This “downtime” did little, however, to slow her creativity down. She continued to release new content in the form of music videos and eventually released 8 gorgeous Artemis videos, 5 of which were released since lockdown commenced.
With Covid-19 restrictions getting eased, and in some cases lifted, Lindsey restarted the Artemis tour that she had to abandon in March 2020, and eventually returned to perform in front of her adopted hometown of the City of Angels at the Microsoft Theater on August 30th.
It was a wonderful performance that delighted her fans. Not only was her playing flawless, but her stage production was beyond reproach. From the timed laser exhibitions to the impeccable choreography of her dancers to the use of the venue’s LED screens to display settings and stories, it was an event whose theatricality alone was worth the price of admission.
Lindsey’s set would include most of the music on Artemis. For her song “Love Goes On and On”, a video of Amy Lee was featured on the huge LED screen upstage that allowed for a recorded duet. I was just a little surprised that the same wasn’t done with Elle King’s version of “The Upside”. The LED screen was also used in a similar fashion for her performance of “Don’t Let This Feeling Fade” with Lecrae performing in video form.
Lindsey also made sure she gave her fans what they wanted by performing some of her most popular songs like “Roundtable Rival”, “Chrystallize” and “Shatter Me”. And with each song, she performed with a passion and joy for the music that is hard to rival.
But the wonderful performance and brilliant overall production don’t hold a candle to what truly impressed me the most about this young woman’s concert. Her optimism.
Is she a master of her instrument? Yes. Can she sing? Yes. Can she dance? Yes. Any good artist can learn how to do all those things. But how many artists can truly connect with an audience on a personal level amidst the singing and dancing? Not many.
While her performance told various stories through the music, Lindsey took moments throughout the evening to break musical character and address the audience with personal anecdotes about the things that she’s experienced throughout her personal life and career. Whether through humor or nostalgia, the audience was drawn into her words. On her resume, Lindsey should add “motivational speaker” to her skillset, because when she tells you that nothing is impossible with determination, or that there’s nothing more special in life than accepting others, or that there is in fact magic this world, you can’t help but nod your head in agreement.
The feeling that she projects from the stage is unique. She imbues optimism, through her words and her music, unto her fans, and during these strange times, covid and all, there’s really nothing more you can ask from an entertainer. Pure joy and optimism.
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