The loudest sound in downtown Columbus is the freight train. It’s a howling menace claiming its territory at a leisurely pace. As It thunderously coasts through Columbus, it emits a rhythmic, yet abrasive screeching. This echoes throughout the city as the metal wheels of each car grind the metal track that guides it. The intrusive scraping is magnified at every uneven stretch. One such section occurs right outside of Promowest’s Express LIVE! concert venue. On the second Weds in August this year, the train was silenced for a few hours by Lindsey Stirling’s inspiring outside performance.
She’s an artist set out to entertain. With five truckloads of sets and gear, her performance is the largest I’ve seen at this venue. She brings with her the music and moves people hope to see, but she offers more than entertainment. Her show starts off with soundbites stating that heroes are the ones who keep getting back up. If you’re familiar with her rise to acclaim, you know she’s had to gracefully dust herself off in a public forum.
Each song brings with it a different stage setting, or a new ensemble of accompanying performers, and fashion. Easily the most meaningful of which was Moon Trance. Here, Lindsey overcomes a battle with skeletons through her music among gravestones that highlight her past strife.
Breaking up the music to tell the story of a grateful artist, she humbly addresses the crowd, “My name is Lindsey Stirling, and I’m honored to be here.” Later, she provides some anecdotes, “There was a bug while I was on that lift. You thought I was playing a song.” She swats her bow around in front of her face, “I was fighting a battle.” She even opens up about her personal experiences with loss, her conflict with anorexia, and her personal triumphs. Offering advice on how to enjoy a full, rich life, she reminds us to never give up on our goals.
Not to be taken too seriously, she performs a medley of Skyrim, Halo, Game of Thrones, and a throwback to the breakout video of her Zelda melody. The videos projected on three screens throughout her performance, illustrate why Lindsey is one of Youtube’s top-earning musicians.
After performing live for more than six years, Lindsey admits that she still gets nervous before each performance. She tries to meditate and clear her mind, creating a silent car ride from the airport to the venue. She’s accepted her butterflies as something she will always have to deal with, but relays to us that she’s found the most success by filling her mind with so much positivity, that there’s no room for the bad thoughts.
Miss Stirling has turned what many would consider negative events into truly positive ones. She speaks of the passing of loved ones and how she believes in magic (the universe, or God), for the moments that remind us that someone loves us.
With her words, Lindsey Stirling tells a story. Without words, she inspires. So few can do what she does on stage. She performs both original compositions, and the music which helped her get her start, while dancing through forests, graveyards, and other mystical settings, often, on just one leg. Lindsey doesn’t sing. She plays the violin, while her and her tour mates move with the intent of moving her fans. All this made for the most inspiring presentation I’ve ever seen.
Lindsey’s performance was as much about entertaining through music, as it was drowning out that damn train with her positive message. Now when I hear the train’s rumblings downtown, I’ll think of Lindsay’s approach to negativity, and the new mindset I might also take up.