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Live Review: Lindsey Stirling – 18th December 2023 – Eventim Apollo, London, UK

4 min read

With it being days away from Christmas what better way to see in 2023’s festive period than a show full of singalongs and the talents of Lindsey Stirling and her electric violin – not to mention a stage spectacle full of as much theatrics as a Cirque Du Soleil show.

It’s been a few years now since the Santa Ana native and global violin sensation came to London to perform a show and her first time bringing her highly anticipated Christmas tour – having made the time of year a busy and lucrative one back home in the US with her suitcase full of jolly numbers.

The crowd really turned out for Stirling as we arrived at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith to see a queue of very enthusiastic punters lining the street to get in and going as far as we could see down the street. And the musician did not let her fans down as she delivered a masterful performance full of seasonal numbers, opening with Christmas classic, Sleigh Ride and taking us through a powerful 90 minutes of mostly instrumental covers that included Joy to the World, Feliz Navidad, where she gave credit to her Dancing With The Stars dance partner, Mark Ballas for the flamenco-arranged performance of the José Feliciano hit and a moving live rendition of O Holy Night following a religion-driven speech from Sterling about the meaning of Christmas for her.

But it wasn’t just her showmanship and charismatic stage presence that stood out during Monday’s performance. With keyboardist, Ryan Riveros and drummer, Drew Steen there was a heavy pantomime feel to the night. Often meeting for playful banter with each other or tour manager Erich Jackson, who would emerge on stage at moments during the show dressed as a Christmas tree to offer a singalong or some festive cheer, the backing band of two helped out with one of the most memorable elements of the night. Taking centre stage and sitting down on the floor with Stirling, the trio played through a medley style section of the show , playing numbers that included Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas and Jingle Bell Rock using toy instruments including a miniature pink piano and an adorable tiny drum set that looked like it had certainly seen much better days by the end of the performance as the pieces began to fly from its petite set up.

  • Throughout the set she would invite her dancers on stage, transforming the show into more of a ballet-style spectacle; dramatic high kicks from both her dancers and from Stirling herself as she twisted, turned and prowled the Hammersmith stage beneath flashing lights and high energy twirls; the giant ring of lights often being so bright that they would blind sections of the crowd. In terms of theatrics and drama – these things were delivered time and time again.

It was a show full of talent, joy and drama and from a superstar of the strings. Whether a fan of Christmas or not, you could not help but get involved and feel a little more festive from watching her energetic and good-spirited presence during the set. An absolute joy to witness!

Setlist:
Sleigh Ride (Leroy Anderson & His Pops Orchestra cover)
Christmas C’mon
Warmer in the Winter
Joy to the World
Jingle Bells / Deck the Halls / Frosty the Snow Man / It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas / Harry Potter Theme / Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer / Jingle Bell Rock
Feliz Navidad (José Feliciano cover)
O Holy Night
Angels We Have Heard on High
Crystallize
Snow Waltz
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky cover)
Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt cover)
Carol of the Bells (Mykola Leontovych cover)
Ice Storm
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Ice Storm
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (Thurl Ravenscroft cover)
Magic