When I woke up Saturday morning, I was slightly nervous. I’ve never been to a concert by myself before, much less an instrumentalist musician. Going alone felt daunting; I was scared that something might happen, or I would hate the concert and want to leave.
Driving to Starlight Theatre, the sound of fireworks bursting around me, a thousand questions ran through my head. Would people think I was weird for taking notes? Would the audience be stagnant? As I arrived, I had to gather myself for a moment before entering the theater.
Hip-hop violinist Lindsey Stirling transports her audience to a different world through her music. Stirling’s musical ideas translate into unique, stunning visuals for her millions of fans across the globe.
Stirling kicked off her Artemis tour this Saturday close to home in Kansas City, Missouri. I was nervous walking through the entrance gates -- I had a difficult time getting in because of the long lines and full parking lot, and I was sweating buckets in the Kansas City heat.
I took my seat in the sixth row, and the stadium held a variety of people chatting in their seats. Kids ran around the giant pillars surrounding the stadium as older folks relaxed with glasses of lemonade, waiting for the show to begin.
The drone of conversation fell silent, and the crowd applauded as opener Kiesza bounded onto the stage. With electric orange curls and a fiery personality to match, I was captivated.
I was impressed by the wide array of instruments Kiesza personally played for her set: a synthesizer, multiple guitars and even an electric ukulele.
As she leapt across the stage, she took a moment to address the crowd. Kiesza revealed that she had been in a car crash four years ago: an accident where recovery was in question. This made her even more spectacular to me. To survive a severe car crash and to come back with a smile on her face made her performance mind-boggling.
The wait between Kiesza and the main act seemed endless. Admittedly, I began to feel a little crabby, thinking about all the things I had to accomplish that night and the next day. But as soon as Lindsey stepped on stage, my worries melted away.
With an infectious smile that didn’t falter throughout the entire show, she leapt across the stage like an acrobat.
I have been in marching band for five years. Granted, it’s slightly different from what Stirling was doing. Still, I could not fathom how she moved her body elegantly and energetically while continuously playing her violin.
Stirling’s choreography wasn’t the only admirable part of the show. The entire performance told a story of survival, exploration, and curiosity. Stirling emerged in a warrior-like costume -- her interpretation of the Greek god Artemis, the inspiration for her album.
Lindsey’s dancers were thrilled to be on stage with her. They all shared a mutual respect for each other. Lindsey was sure to thank all of her crew, announcing each dancer, accompanist, and even bringing the tech crew out to bow with her at the end of the show.
The small moments of humbleness made me emotional. I could feel my heart swelling in my chest with pure joy that only comes from the special connection between music and humans.
The set design, the costumes, the music- I didn’t want the show to end. Lindsey had done exactly what I love about music -- she sent me to my own little world of stories, of magic and of feeling.
Lindsey’s Artemis tour will continue until September, with stops throughout multiple cities planned along the way. To get tickets, shop merchandise or view Lindsey’s socials, visit her website at lindseystirling.com.