Photo: ticketmaster.com
Photo: ticketmaster.com

Lindsey Stirling Lights Up Stage, Helps Wake Up Evanescence from Hiatus

Lindsey Stirling emerged onstage at Jiffy Lube Live on July 24 with sparkling shoes, the eyes of the audience moving with her footwork, and her bow moving in even quicker speed.

She wasn’t the only violinist on stage. The orchestra, Cellogram, spanned the width of the stage and so did she – twirling and skipping from one side to the other, sometimes stopping center stage to body roll in sync with her four back up dancers.

It’s rare violinists get such a spotlight, and Stirling proved she is much more. The music and dancing were excellent, but the night was a full circle of entertainment including comedy, magic and motivational messages throughout.

Stirling gave us a new stage set with each song, changing outfits and on-stage props. She quipped, “Yes I did start this show in three costumes” … why did she bother to wear makeup? “Because I care about you, that’s why.”

For her second song, she was a skeleton playing her way around a graveyard and towering tombstones, one donning the name Piers Morgan, who gave her critical comments during her “America’s Got Talent” performances.

While Stirling held her own with the high-energy instrumentals, the crowd roared when Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee returned to the stage to sing Stirling’s original “Shatter Me.” After Lee scrambled off, Stirling exclaimed her excitement for touring with Evanescence, “for years I’ve been a casual fan” she adds as the big screen moved off her to a video of Stirling at just 15, lip syncing in a dark choppy haircut and t-shirt with friends to “Bring Me To Life”

“It didn’t matter how many times people told me I didn’t have what it took… I saw something in myself that nobody else could see.”

Stirling had star power but she was also reachable, almost like she would be the type of friend you could casually message her about your problems and get a three paragraph response. Between songs, her message always went back to empowering the audience to strive for their own spotlight. She didn’t slow down once, and the crowd was feeding her the energy right back.

Evanescence had a more subdued performance, with applause, some whistles coming after each song but little interaction from the audience. Fans coming to hear the classics and to rock hard might be disappointed to hear mellowed versions with the backing of Cellogram.

However, for their first tour after a six-year hiatus, a slightly new sound is to be expected – refreshing the songs we memorized long ago. Lee’s vocals were as powerful as ever and with her bell-sleeved black dress and dark trailing hair, she’s still the same goth queen – just now conducting an orchestra with her voice.

Lee stops and introduces a cover of “Across The Universe” by The Beatles with “one of my favorite things about music is the ability to take you to another place, another time…” followed by Stirling making her first appearance, before her set, with their collaborative hit, “Hi-Lo.”

While most of Lee’s on stage time was spent singing or playing the piano, or singing and playing the piano, another introduction came with “My Immortal.” It’s “gained meaning for me along the way and now I love it more. It’s become about our relationship, everything we survived together. I’m so grateful for this crazy ride.” This song remained nearly untouched from any of the twists added to their other hits.

More cheers came from playing “Lost in Paradise,” “Your Star,” and the conclusion to the 14-song set with “Imperfection.”

The tour is still new – Stirling, Evanescence and the live orchestra will be playing across the U.S. until September, promoting the album Synthesis.

For more information about Stirling and Evanescence’s tour, visit here.

Fareeha Rehman

Fareeha is a writer and artist raised in northern Virginia. Tweet her compliments @ RehmanFareeha