February 10 was a very busy date for Tour Press Force (TPF). We kicked off the event coverage that afternoon in Mesa at Club Red where we interviewed five bands on Alesana’s Ten Frail Years of Vanity and Wax Tour. The bands and genres, Versus (NuMetal/Progressive Rock) , Charlatan (Scrap Metal), Vesta Collide (Rock/Metalcore), and Arizona local bands Note To Self (Post-Hardcore/Metal), and Go Ask Alice (Post-Hardcore/Rock) presented quite a contrast to the artists we would venture to cover at the Livewire in Scottsdale later that evening. After all, this review is about the violinist extraordinaire Lindsey Stirling, another Arizona Electronic artist who is known ‘round the globe for her unique bow-laden pirouettes and grand jête leaps, not to mention her beautiful soprano melodies. Stirling along with Broods’ Down Under dynamic duo and the talented Briton Calum Scott bestowed swoon upon the Broken Hearts Ball.
The Livewire audience continued to swell as the Broken Hearts Ball presented by Mix 96.9 iHeartRadio progressed. It was evident that both old and young, and many families with small children were brave enough to journey to witness Stirling live. Admittedly, this reviewer could be found rubbing her eyes with yawns as she leant against the venue wall alongside a little girl as they waited for Stirling’s set to begin. The only downside to the concert was the sound system that was much too loud, especially in between the sets.
Georgia Nott of the Broods looked like a cameo on stage behind her keyboard as she played the single “Conscious” off their latest album of the same name, released on June 2016 via Capitol and Polydor Records. Being their second album, Conscious features collaborations with Lorde and Tove Lo. Nott has a gorgeous breathy soprano voice that seemed to rise high above her instrument. In between each song, she shared life experiences and inspirations behind the music as well as thanking her American audience. Later, her brother Caleb Nott joined her onstage playing acoustic guitar for a wonderful fusion of pop and uplifting spirit. If you missed this Electronic Indie Pop duo at the Broken Hearts Ball, look for them to return to Phoenix headlining at the Comerica Theatre on April 18. Find tickets here.
Vevo | Heartlines – Broods
Awarded the ‘Golden Buzzer’ by Simon Cowell, you probably remember Calum Scott from the 2015 Season of Britain’s Got Talent where his cover of “Dancing On My Own” was performed to great acclaim. His songwriting carries a ripped-from-the-soul quality that is apparent even when he is interpreting another artist’s work, like his cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” On his own work, Scott says, “When I recorded ‘Dancing On My Own’ in my bedroom, I never thought for a second that it would reach as far as it has and bring this level of support from literally all over the globe. I am so excited about the next chapter because there is so much to come!”
For his live performance during the Broken Hearts Ball, he caressed the audience with his smooth, modern pop vocals. He is now signed with Capitol Records and released his first single, “Rhythm Inside,” last November. UK fans can find Scott in concert late this Summer. Find tickets here.
Vevo | Dancing On My Own – Calum Scott
And finally, Lindsey Stirling! The Broken Hearts Ball was a brief US stop before Stirling moved on to the European leg of her Brave Enough Tour. As always, Stirling wowed the audience with her spritely choreography and fiddle-pyrotechnics. She seemed oddly dressed like a NASCAR driver, complete with what looked like sponsor patches going down her sleeves and the rest of her attire. While her bow definitely raced several laps across the violin strings, we were still left wondering about her costume choice for the evening. She whipped, whirled, and twirled so quickly our photographer could hardly capture a shot. The shimmer of her violin seemed as if it were coated in black Swarovski crystals. It was a magnificent sight, especially when the lights would reflect off it. Her exuberance and technique was extraordinary. This reviewer did not realize that Stirling is also an accomplished vocalist and was stunned when she began to sing radiantly. Stirling’s third studio album, Brave Enough was released independently on the imprint Lindseystomp Records on August 19, 2016. This album features Christina Perri, Dan + Shay Lecrae, and several other vocalists. Brave Enough debuted at number 5 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week, earning Stirling her second top 10 album. This album also debuted at number 1 on the Top Classical Albums and Dance/Electronic Albums charts.
Stirling stated, “I don’t need a man…but I need a man,” as she segued into her single “Hold My Heart.” ZZ Ward, who is featured as the Queen of Hearts in the “Hold My Heart” video, cowrote the song with Stirling. “This song is really about being able to be on your own and being okay with it, but also wanting to love…and not needing someone to take care of you,” says Ward. Stirling said, “The song is about love from the perspective of an independent woman. I don’t need a man to pay my bills, help me create opinions and to guide me through life, but I still want a man. It’s the idea that I don’t need a man to take care of me…but I want a man to take care of me. I guess this is why women are so confusing!” Discover more about “Hold My Heart” Behind the Scenes People exclusive.
During the midpoint of the night’s performance, Lindsey shared a heartfelt dedication in memory of her late father who recently passed in January, devoting one of her songs while a collage of fond images streamed in the background. For the reviewer, this reflection hearkens to the Theodore Roosevelt quote reflected on Stirling’s music video for the single, “The Arena” – It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.
We could not stay to the close of the show, so we cannot share with you the encore. Though the energy of the show continued to spiral upwards with greater intensity after the tribute to her father as we were exiting the show. Stirling’s performance was dynamic and energetic. It was fascinating to watch her spin and we were kept entertained by the vibrant visuals that played on screen. The Broken Hearts Ball brought a pleasurable close to our day-long venture capturing artists across the music spectrum.
YouTube | Hold My Heart – Lindsey Stirling feat ZZ Ward
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