The spectacular musician, dancer, singer and composer Lindsey Stirling graced Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion in Portsmouth, Virginia on a tranquil, idyllic summer day, where the breeze rocked the boats in the adjacent harbor as if in anticipation of her upcoming performance. With Lindsey being a connoisseur of costumes, young fans arrived dressed in a myriad of beautiful outfits. I’m sure this will be repeated throughout various cities on the American leg of her summer tour. Witnessing her positive influence on young girls was heartening and I imagined them all going home after the show determined to master their instrument.
Opening the night was Canadian pop band and eight-time Juno Award winner, Walk Off the Earth. These versatile social media stars, who got together in 2006, played a plethora of instruments, were energetic, fun, and family-friendly. They sing a combination of original songs and covers. One of their originals, “Long Way Home,” has a sentimental country flavor and featured Lindsey Sterling. The lead singers’ young son Romeo came out with his siblings and sang hit song “My Stupid Heart.” This year, the five-year-old became the youngest Juno Award winner in history when he won Children’s Album of the Year for Walk off the Earth & Romeo Eats, Vol. 2.
Walk off the Earth Band Members:
Gianni “Luminati” Nicassio – vocals, bass, guitar, ukulele, drums, percussion, banjo, mandolin, cello, glockenspiel, kalimba, harmonica, keyboards, double bass
Sarah Blackwood – vocals, ukulele, guitar, percussion, glockenspiel, keyboards, bass, mandolin
Joel Cassady – drums, percussion, vocals, ukulele, keyboards, guitar, bass, kalimba, sampler
David “Tokyo” Speirs – percussion, trumpet, flute, drums, bass
Adam Michael – guitar, keyboards, bass
Walk off the Earth Setlist
(1) Red Hands
(2) Fire in My Soul
(4) What’s Love Got to Do With It
(6) Teenage Dirtbag
(7) I’ll Be There
(9) Long Way Home
(10) Beatles Mashup – I Want to Hold Your Hand / A Hard Day’s Night / Yesterday / I’ve Just Seen a Face / We Can Work It Out / Eleanor Rigby / Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane / A Day in the Life / With a Little Help From My Friends / All You Need Is Love / Hello, Goodbye / Blackbird / Hey Jude / Here Comes the Sun / Come Together / Let It Be /
(11) Saxo-Didge Jam
(12) My Stupid Heart (feat. Luminati Suns)
(13) Somebody That I Used to Know / Heatwaves / Industry Baby / Alone / Africa / Oh No / That’s What I Want / Sunroof / Bad Habits / Can’t Get You Out Of My Head / Dreams
Lindsey Stirling teased the crowd as she graced the stage in a shroud of smoke for “Beyond the Veil.” Just as intriguing as her magic on the violin was her dancing ability and professional showmanship, which she gradually revealed as the night went on. Being a master at infusing various musical styles into her setlist, she included a variety of pop, rock, EDM and classical music, providing something for everyone in attendance.
Taking the show to another level, Stirling’s troupe of gifted dancers took the stage for “Underground,” providing an instant surge of energy with Lindsey leading the way. She then masterfully performed “Artemis” with only backing musicians Drew Steen (drums, percussion) and Ryan Riveros (keys, guitars). She was gradually pulling in the audience, later to reveal that she is a force to be reckoned with.
“Shatter Me,” was based on Lindsey breaking free from an eating disorder, so naturally this song was quite dramatic, live. She won a Billboard Music Award for the album in 2015, and this song featured Lzzy Hale of Halestorm. Later, Stirling went back to her classical roots for all of the violin students in the audience with “Toccata and Fugue (Johann Sebastian Bach cover),” which was not easy to execute. For “The Upside,” Lindsey invited concert saxophonist Valentin Kovalev (contest winner) to perform with her on stage. His performance was fun and quite impressive.
Much to the delight of fans, Stirling took to the air for several songs, performing aerial acrobatics like a graceful ballerina, sometimes hanging from one leg and slaying on violin while upside down. This requires strength, flexibility, and skill, to say the least. I assume judge Piers Morgan from American Idol regrets his assessment of Lindsey 13 years ago claiming, “…you’re not good enough to get away with flying through the air and trying to play the violin at the same time.” He was so wrong. Thankfully, she stayed true to herself and confident in her abilities.
Lindsey finished the night strong with “Love Goes On and On” and powerful new cover of “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin. From her innovative performance in Portsmouth, Virginia, it was clear why this YouTube star has three billion views and millions of fans across the world.
Lindsey Stirling Setlist:
(1) Beyond the Veil
(4) The Arena
(5) Shatter Me
(6) Toccata and Fugue (Johann Sebastian Bach cover)
(8) Hold My Heart
(9) Moon Trance
(10) Roundtable Rival
(11) The Upside (performance with concert saxophonist Valentin Kovalev (contest winner))
(12) Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovych cover)
(15) Don’t Let This Feeling Fade
(17) Love Goes On and On
(18) Kashmir (Led Zeppelin cover)
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Annette Holloway is a music, promo, portrait, and event photographer. Live concert photography and band/artist photoshoots occupy much of her time. Her work has been published on numerous media outlets including Billboard, Pollstar, NBC News, Getty Images, Forbes, HM Magazine, ICON Sportswire, Loudwire, CCM Magazine, and many more. Before diving into photography full time, she was a NASA software engineer, webmaster, church youth leader, and robotics mentor. For more information about her photography, visit AnnetteHolloway.com.