|Lindsey Stirling on May 14, 2014|
Violinist-composer Lindsey Stirling is undoubtedly some kind of original. In a 90-minute headlining performance at a sold-out City National Grove of Anaheim Wednesday night, the 27-year-old Santa Ana native, whose new album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart, presented her entertaining blend of neo-classical, electronica, Celtic, dubstep and hip-hop – an unlikely hybrid anchored by her astounding instrumental skills.
Not only did Stirling bow away with flawless precision, whether on a classical model or a modern electric version, she also moved like Jagger and sometimes joined two dancers in choreographed routines while fluidly continuing to play.
"What is up, Anaheim?" the personable, ever-smiling Stirling said to cheers after opening with a few fast-moving tracks. Backed by the longtime duo of drummer Drew Steen and keyboardist Jason Gaviati, this appearance spotlighted plenty of material from just-released sophomore effort Shatter Me as well as her self-titled debut from 2012.
There have been any number of incredible guitarists since the ’60s, with giants like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton inspiring modern-day heroes like Joe Bonamassa and Eric Johnson. Yet, as Stirling’s performance reminded more than once, she is that rare violinist able to bring that same kind of rock energy to the stage, impressing with undeniable virtuosity while breaking new ground with originals that are a direct extension of her dexterity and catholic taste.
While the full set was superb, highlights included “We Are Giants,” with its emotive slow intro and subsequent commercial pop rhythm, and the more emotive “Take Flight,” as Stirling's dazzling fingerwork played out in front of images of the cosmos, her dancers often lifting her up while she played at breathtaking speed. “Shatter Me” was another strong one: While vocals from singer Lzzy Hale (of Halestorm) were provided only via video, the star’s violin work conjured more than enough firepower to compensate. A remarkable talent.
|Dia Frampton of Archis on May 14|
Lindsey Stirling and Archis play again tonight, May 15, at Club Nokia in the L.A. Live complex, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., $29.50-$35. On May 24, the tour arrives at House of Blues Las Vegas, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd., $25.
Photos courtesy of Kelly A. Swift