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.

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Lindsey Stirling Shows She’s More Than A Violin Player

It’s not often someone known primarily for her masterful violin skills crosses over to the mainstream pop charts, but Lindsey Stirling is no ordinary star.

Highly skilled in dance, art and of course, her string instrument of choice, the 31-year-old innovative musician bolted to fame thanks to a series of choreographed violin performances on her personal YouTube channel a few years ago.

“The classical arts aren’t appreciated as they once were, so I think it’s exciting that I’m able to put my own twist on it,” Stirling says. “It’s a huge part of the arts that shouldn’t be forgotten and I bring to light classical elements with what I do, and brings to light the violin to people who maybe never thought they would love it.”

She found success with the release of her 2012 self-titled debut album and two other critically acclaimed works followed, including a popular holiday collection was released last year. She’s also won two Billboard Music Awards and finished second on last year’s Dancing With the Stars.

“There was this really cool moment when I was offered to play a show in Italy and my parents came with me and when we arrived, there were all these posters with my face on it, and it was the weirdest thing to realize these people in this small Italian town were looking forward to seeing me,” she says. “People were asking for autographs and giving me fan art and I just knew my life had changed.”

On July 24, Stirling will co-headline a show with Evanescence at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, both sets backed by a full orchestra.

“It’s something different from anything I have ever done on tour before, and that makes it really fun,” she says. “It’s been fun to reinvent the music and have it all orchestrated and it will be this cool fusion between live orchestra, rock elements and electronic elements all mixed together. That’s going to make it pretty magical.”

Stirling is excited to be coming back to the area, associating it with the first time she ever had Sweetgreen, her favorite restaurant, and is even more eager to be sharing this tour with Evanescence, as she considers herself a huge fan of Amy Lee and the band behind “Bring Me to Life.”

“I’m going to guest on Amy’s set and she will be on my set for a song as well,” Stirling says. “I have been a fan of hers for years and I wrote a song years ago with her in mind to sing it, but she wasn’t able to because she was on maternity leave, but I think it put me in the back of her mind that we should work together someday. She reached out a year ago and I played on their new album with the song ‘Hi-Lo’ and the reaction of the fans was just unbelievable.”

Touring throughout the summer at amphitheaters like Jiffy Lube Live has been a blast, she says, and she enjoys the “summer vibe” of people coming together as families and enjoying picnics and creating a more personal concert experience.

Although Stirling has been dancing and playing violin since she was little, her aspirations in college was towards a career in film.

“By the time I hit college, I was a little burnt out with music and didn’t know how I felt about the classical violin thing anymore, so I ended up studying film, which was another passion of mine,” she says. “I used to have editing software and was a real nerd about creating my own videos.”

She found the music and film worlds combined really seamlessly, which helped her become one of YouTube’s first breakout artists.

“One art really led the other and it allowed me to not only use my violin skills but also showcase it in a way that was really unique,” Stirling says.

Since then, she had a song on the soundtrack of Pete’s Dragon and also scored a song for a video game and hopes to get more involved with more scores in the years ahead.

Once her tour ends, Stirling will start writing some new music but is also going to pick up where she left off on a theatrical musical she started writing last year.

“I want to focus on that and maybe go to New York and really work on that for a while,” she says. “Until then, I am going to just enjoy this tour. I love putting on a show and anyone who comes out will have a fun time.”

Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence are set to play at Jiffy Lube Live on July 24. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $18.

Jiffy Lube Live: 7800 Cellar Door Dr. Bristow, VA; 703-754-6400;