A free concert: Lindsey Stirling

Some weeks ago I covered myself in glory at the fundraising table quiz for the 14th International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (in which I have written and am starring in a play called ‘An expected party’ – running from May 1 to 6th at 9pm in the Teacher’s Club on Parnell Square – buy your tickets HERE… )

Our team came second and we won some prizes. We received some complimentary tickets for the opening shows – these will cunningly be re-gifted during the fundraiser for our own fundraiser. We also won tickets to see a Lindsey Stirling gig in Vicar Street. The concert was last night.  I was in attendance – a free concert is like honey to the bee for me. I am in my element at such events – immersed in an intoxicating blend of music and frugality.

Despite the fact that I had never heard of Ms Stirling I did not do any in depth YouTube research into her oueuvre. A brief glance at her Wikipedia page was sufficient. She is a classical violinist who performs this instrument to the backdrop of rock and dance music. She is also a performance artist and dancer, who reached the quarter final of America’s Got Talent where the hateful judge Piers Morgan told her that she sounded like a cat being strangled.

She bounded onstage in lurid gym clothes – multi-coloured skin tight t-shirt and shorts – and launched into the performance. It was an unusual combination of rock music and dancing – while playing her bedazzled, crystal covered violin. Like a whirling dervish she maintained a frantic pace throughout the seventy minute show, swirling and twirling and pirouetting, while furiously playing her instrument and kicking her legs in  the air with gay abandon. Normally I would feel cheated at such a short performance but the energy and enthusiasm (not to mention the frenetic pacing) made up for that.

I can’t say the music was especially mesmerising– never having heard her before and not being a massive fan of the classical violin it was sort of a walk into the unknown for me. It was certainly interesting and engaging though and her fans loved it.

My only real criticism was not the music or performance – it was to do with the audience interaction. I love it when a performer acknowledges and engages with the audience. It is rude and disrespectful to do as Van Morrison does and studiously ignore everyone, and make it clear that you are only doing the gig out of financial greed. But you can go too far as well.

Lindsey Stirling overshared slightly, last night. Her stories about her grief at the double loss of her best friend and her father, were undoubtedly heartfelt and personal. The detail she went into concerning her grief was overkill though. When she announced that her friend’s death reinforced her belief in ‘god’ then I wanted to shriek ‘God doesn’t exist, don’t be delusional’. Naturally I didn’t – that’s not for me to question someone’s heartfelt beliefs. I just didn’t appreciate being lectured to about Imaginary Baby Jeebus at a concert – even if it was a free show.

All told however it was an enjoyable and entertaining show by a very talented and pleasant performer. I’d see her again – and I’d even consider paying for a ticket next time.

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