Live things: Lindsey Stirling at Alabang Town Center

Lindsey Stirling performs at the Alabang Town Center as part of her two-date Manila tour.

At the end of Lindsey Stirling’s hour-long set at the Alabang Town Center, I stood up, grabbed the barriers dividing the plebeians from the VIPs, breathed heavily, and thought, “she should’ve had that show in Vegas.”

Lindsey was, of course, a contestant on America’s Got Talent, where the grand prize is a show in Las Vegas. But being a self-dubbed “hip-hop violinist” diminished her chances, as that show tends to pick singers as winners (well, save for Terry Fator). But come to think of it, her strengths would’ve been lost in the big performance places in Sin City. Her gig last night – as well as the previous night’s, at Greenbelt – was a much more intimate affair, packing as many people in as small a space, and her energy just filled the whole place.

It helped that she went for a full band, bringing a bigger punch to the dubstep flavors of her original songs. But Lindsey spent the whole set not so much stomping, but gliding through the stage. A pirouette here, a flick of the leg there, the occasional pointe: it doesn’t seem like she’s just putting it on for show – a violin show being traditionally staid and formal – but rather, it seems like she’s really being taken places by the stuff she plays. Sure, it’s all rehearsed (and you’ll see this in her YouTube videos too, that vaguely sexy sway of the hips) but in person, on stage, it look very much in the moment.

The downside to such a tight show is that there’s little space for interaction. I think she only had two extended talk segments. (Interestingly, at one point she made a spiel one song too early, teasing a Michael Jackson mashup way before she was supposed to do that.) But these are minor quibbles. The fans are rowdier than I expected; the performers are clearly relishing it, that no string mishap could stop them from just jamming.

That explains my fatigue at the end. Maybe it’s the strong rains outside (for a moment I thought everything will be cancelled) but it’s really the energy she just shoved down everyone’s table. (That explains why my photos are crappy. That, and me not having my usual camera. Not a good time to have my DSLR cleaned.) It’s like going to a club where the DJ plays violin. That should do. [NB]

Setlist “Anti Gravity” / “Stars Align” / “Electric Daisy Violin” / “Shadows” / Michael Jackson medley: “Beat It” and “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” / Zelda medley / Skyrim main theme / “Good Feeling” (Violin Remix) / “Zi-Zi’s Journey” / “Moon Trance” / “Phantom of the Opera” / “Transcendence” / “Song of the Caged Bird” / “Crystallize”

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