Lindsey Stirling – Portland, Oregon – September 6, 2021 – Moda Center
It was a great Labor Day weekend for music in Portland, Oregon this year. Eighteen long months of not going to any live music concerts, and then I got my metal fix on Saturday with an amazing concert at the Moda Center with Megadeth, followed by a wonderful evening with the very talented violinist Lindsey Stirling. When we arrived at the Moda Center, I had my COVID vaccine card at the ready, my mask in hand, and of course my ticket. I then stood in the long line that moved rather quickly to get in. I enjoyed looking around at my fellow concert goers, some were really dressed up, and some made it a family evening out. I ran into some friends at the show and we were able to catch up before seeing Ms. Stirling. The Moda Center was set in the Theater of the Clouds arrangement, which is always great because it gives that small-venue feel in a big arena. The energy was filled with excitement as we all knew we were in for a real treat.
If you do not know who Lindsey Stirling is, I say after you read this, go check her out online. She is, as she put it that evening, “an electronic dancing violinist that plays dubstep music, tours the world and wears really fun costumes.” And if that doesn’t pique your interest, how about the fact that she writes her own music and is basically a self taught professional dancer, and she plays her violin truly live while she dances.
Originally, there was supposed to be an opener for the show. Kiesza, who is a Canadian singer/songwriter. For unknown reasons, she was not performing on this night. It felt a little weird not having an opener. Usually, an opener is a wonderful way to be introduced to new artists. I have found out about many new artists through Lindsey Stirling such as another favorite of mine, ZZ Ward.
Lindsey was joined on stage with her best bud and drummer Drew Stein, amazing world class dancers Taylor Gagliano, Addie Byers, Jessica Riches, and Taylor Gagliano. Lindsey and crew definitely know how to put on an inspiring and magical show. One of many fun parts was during the song “Master of Tides” where it was a ‘choose your own adventure.’ Lindsey and her dancers were dressed in pirate gear, and the screen showed two action options. Depending on crowd participation by clapping, the “what would happen next” was chosen. For example, at one point the screen said “sweep the deck” or “pick Lindsey’s pocket.” Of course, the crowd was louder for the latter so the dancers picked Lindsey’s pocket to find a treasure map. Before this song, Lindsey told us a little story, an experience where she was brave to stand her ground and be herself, even when she felt out of place.
This is just one example on how inspiring the show was. Lindsey shared another story on how musically she looked up to Amy Lee from Evanescence, and how she continues to be her idol. Ms. Stirling told us that she dreamed of collaborating with her, and when it did happen, she was beside herself. She performed “Love Goes On and On” which features Amy Lee, and while Amy Lee was not present at this show, Lindsey and her dancers performed with a back track of Amy singing. Shockingly, at one point Lindsey played while being hoisted upside down!
The rest of the evening included a spectacular Disney melody, the song that started it all for Mr. Stirling, “Crystallize,” and fan favorites “Roundtable Rival,” and “Mirage.” While incredibly hard to choose, “Between Twilight” is my favorite track off of Lindsey Stirling’s Artemis album. During the difficult year we all have endured, like many, I had anxious moments and moments of uncertainty. It was “Between Twilight” that helped me feel grounded when I started to feel my heart race with fear. The music video is straight out of a fairy tale as well.
Lindsey and her entire crew made the audience feel like they were in one of her amazing music videos. Her talented dancers, Lindsey’s persona and skill, the overall atmosphere of this live performance was just awe inspiring.
Seriously, as a fan I could go on and on about Lindsey Stirling and her amazing ability to not only play beautiful and meaningful music, to give a treat visually with movie production quality music videos and costumes, but she is also so inspirational. She openly shares her ups and downs that are likely therapeutic for her but also incredibly helpful to her fans. Her positivity is sincere, vast and strong, raw and real and it truly gives us hope. Lindsey, as a fan, thank you for sharing your gift, vision, and yourself with us. Bravo.