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LINDSEY STIRLING

Lindsey Stirling (photos by Rachael Barrett)-2
Lindsey Stirling – Photo by Rachael Barrett

Astor Theatre

Monday, February 23, 2015

The streets of Mount Lawley were flooded last Monday evening, when 900 die-hard fans amassed to see YouTube sensation Lindsey Stirling perform. The Billboard chart-topping Stirling, with more than six million subscribers and 880 million views of her videos, graced the stage in Perth for the first time, attracting a horde of young and old ‘Stirlingites.’

Stirling is best known for characteristically blending a unique hybrid of virtuosic Celtic violin playing with dance and electronica music; often arranging and reworking crowd-pleasing musical themes from video games, movies and TV series, such as Pokemon, Star Wars and The Legend Of Zelda. Her arrangements and original compositions are typically accompanied with theatrical music videos well worthy of the millions of views they garner.

Once the Astor’s doors had opened, and the majority of the crowd had flocked into the venue, an apparent delirium was building in the room, as anyone or anything that moved even slightly on stage incited a horrific uproar of elated shrieks from anxiously eager fans. People were dancing on the spot, seemingly trying not to explode with exhilaration.

As the room lights dimmed, quickly being outshone by a blue neon glow emitting from stage, what seemed to be the silhouette of a real-life Japanese anime character appeared in front of us. The only point in the night that the crowd was more deafening than at this moment was when the room lights came on to show that, yes, Lindsey Stirling was actually standing before our eyes – the real deal, in person, in Perth, for us.

In true theatrical form, Stirling wielded a glittery electric violin and donned sparkling spandex pants, reflecting every flash of the impressive light show, as she gracefully leaped, twirled and Riverdanced across the stage with her signature dance moves. After a couple of songs, Stirling made her introduction to a frenzied mob of love-struck fans, to whom she later stated that ‘Perth is the best show we’ve had all year. You guys are crazy in the best way possible.

If fans’ hearts weren’t already melting enough at this point, Stirling interacted with her charmed devotees on a much more personal level than most performing artists care to – sharing heartfelt stories from the life of Lindsey, showing videos of her childhood, and humouring the din of ‘I love you!’ and ‘Marry me!’ which was permanently echoing throughout the hall, as some fans couldn’t help but to exclaim and profess their love for Lindsey at every chance they could.

A passionate crowd-joined rendition of John Legend’s All Of Me had fans singing along in tears and illuminating the Astor with phone light. Not all of the show was mushy though; most of the concert was infectious dance music, which kept the audience gleefully bouncing around like a Hobbit party at the Shire.

Speaking of which, this reviewer’s personal favourite moment was the introduction and performance of the Lord Of The Rings Medley, during which you could hear a feather drop in the dead silence of the audience. That is, until Stirling started to sing, which incurred an eruption of delighted cries.

So, if you aren’t familiar with Lindsey Stirling, and haven’t already started typing her name into Youtube, then I suggest that you don’t just yet, as to spare yourself the grief of realising that you missed out on one of the Astor’s most stellar concerts of 2015.

FABIAN MALABELLO