Lindsey Stirling’s Spectacular Spectacle

Violinist/Dancer Sets the Bowl Stage Alight

Lindsey Stirling has done for the violin what Michael Flatley did for Irish step dance —show the world that a traditionally classical art form can actually penetrate the mainstream to fantastic effect. To that end, Stirling has become a crossover artist playing rock venues around the world and drawing audiences of myriad musical tastes and ages. That was true of her headlining gig at the Santa Barbara Bowl show Saturday, August 15.

Before Stirling performed, however, supporting act Lights warmed up listeners. A pixie-sized woman with a big voice and an engaging presence, Lights is a Juno Award-winning Canadian artist whose songs are catchy, foot tapping, and often lovely electronic pop rock melodies. Her hit “Running with the Boys” — “a song about being a kid and good vibes,” she explained — and “Up We Go” got the crowd jumping while “Portal” provided an ethereal aural experience.

Sufficiently primed by the effervescent Lights, fans squealed with delight when Stirling came on. Smoke swirled across the stage as the violinist appeared backlit in a silver sparkly outfit. Stirling creates a spectacular spectacle of sights and sounds on stage that both hypnotizes and overwhelms. While the amalgamation of videos playing on screens behind her, an attention getting light show, choreographed dancing, and her stunning musicianship made for a glorious stage production it also made it difficult to absorb as a whole. That, however, was a minor detail. Mostly, Stirling provided one wow-ing moment after another through her simultaneous combination of intimate, heartfelt bowing and impressive dance moves.

She was a firecracker as a performer and immeasurably charming, witty, and candid when she addressed the audience. “I was suffering from depression a few years ago,” she confessed as an introduction to her song “Transcendence.” “I practiced trying to train my brain to be positive. I believe we have the power to be what we want to be. Happiness takes work and effort.”

The audience revealed their devotion with hollered proclamations of “I love you, Lindsey” throughout the dynamic performance.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Highway Patrol Bears Gifts to Unity Shoppe

Officers collect and deliver donated children's toys to support service.

Adam Brothers Farm Identified in E. Coli Outbreak

Santa Maria farm recalls romaine and additional produce.

Goleta Swears in New City Leadership

New mayor and new councilmembers step onto the dais.

SBCC Scrapping Remedial Class Requirement

A new state law is designed to boost graduation and transfer rates.

Pot Dispensary Hit with Stop Work Order

City claims construction was done without proper permits.