I am not a concert-goer.
I love music, and it is very important to me, but I’ve been to a total of 4 concerts (5 if you count the symphony) in my life. I just do not enjoy the large crowds of people. Up until this past week, the best concert I’d been to was an Ani DiFranco show many years ago — because at that one I’d actually had my own chair to sit in the whole time, and everyone else remained a designated distance away from me. (It was also at that concert when I fell in love with the music of Andrew Bird. If you have not heard that man pluck a violin, I suggest you start with this song.)
So it was with trepidation that I bought tickets for, and actually pushed myself to attend, a Lindsey Stirling concert. My husband (himself a violinist) and I love her music enough to brave the crowds and see her live.
About a quarter of the way through the night, I had begun to regret the whole idea. Her opening act was less than appealing and the poor guy actually became more and more annoying as time went on. (As a non-concert-goer, I’d forgotten about opening acts and how disappointing they can be. Plus, I’d been spoiled by the likes of Andrew Bird.)
But as soon as Lindsey finally got on stage, my mood turned.
It was so, so worth it.
Music is one thing that makes me feel in a way that very few other things do. No, I don’t think anything makes me feel the way music does. Like it can reach in deep and touch my soul.
I have a thing for instrumental music; especially when it is written and played by someone who deeply loves their instrument and their music. It comes through in the notes, you know? Though Lindsey’s music is amazing in its own beauty and technical perfection, it touches me even deeper because when I listen to it, I can feel how much of her soul is in the music.
Getting to hear that live? Getting to be in the room as she played her music? Absolutely breathtaking. Halfway into the first song, I already had tears in my eyes, and it wasn’t even a song I recognized! When she began playing the songs I knew and love dearly? Oh man. I was squirming like a fool during Shadows.
At one point they played a video of Lindsey talking about the Maya Angelou poem, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and why it was the inspiration for her piece, Song of the Caged Bird. I was trembling with anticipation. Folks, when she began to play that song? I lost it. I don’t think music has ever made me cry openly — certainly not in front of other people — but tears were streaming down my face.
You probably think I’m just like a weirdo or a weenie and why am I blogging about this anyway?
Her music compels me. Her music is powerful! Hearing it live was completely overwhelming.
It was interesting (and also frustrating) to see, though, that she got the largest and loudest applause for the cover songs she played. Especially the Zelda and Phantom of the Opera ones. But the energy in the room was so different when she was playing her own music. When playing covers, Lindsey is a vibrant performer. But when playing her own music? Lindsey is the violin! And the best essence of the violin that there can be.