American violinist Lindsey Stirling first came to my attention two years ago with her performance of the theme from the video game Skyrim with Peter Hollens. Like most in this country, I completely missed her appearance on the America's Got Talent quarter final in 2010.
However, like many of her other fans, I discovered her through her YouTube channel where she decided to try to do the one thing she was told she would never do be a use she was too different: succeed in music. Being a bit of a geek myself I was immediately hooked on her other covers such as Zelda, Lord of the Rings, Assassin's Creed, and Phantom of the Opera. Her performances are reminiscent of Vanessa Mae, but more contemporary, and her music videos often feature her dressed up as a character from whatever she is covering, whilst dancing her blend of ballet and street dance.
On 6 November I saw the talented 28 year old live at The Forum, supported by the unique Mike Tompkins, a London boy who blends acapella, beatboxing, and dubstep. Sterling's live gigs are personal: short videos of her as a baby were played in one interlude, and later she talked a little about her journey to today including her battle with anorexia. It was also clear that she held a lot of love and gratitude for her band and her fans.
The songs were as energetic as you would imagine, with Stirling prancing around like a hyperactive antelope without slipping a note, including being lifted into the air or bending backwards until her head touched the ground. Sadly some of the songs lacked the vocal element fans may have expected from her music videos due to the lack of a singer on their tour. Those songs that did have vocals achieved this by playing pre-recorded vocal tracks. This was made up for, however, by a short but beautiful acoustic set and of course Stirling's own good humour. Fans of her would not regret seeing her live; however I would recommend newcomers check out her videos online before buying a ticket.