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Dubstepping with violinist Lindsey Stirling

Published May 29, 2014 5:40 pm

Music • The Utah musician returns for a concert with a hometown vibe.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Lindsey Stirling is only missing an internship credit to complete her degree in therapeutic recreation at Brigham Young University, but the electronic violinist can be excused for not finding the time.

After all, the 27-year-old musician, raised in Arizona and now based in Los Angeles, keeps a crazy touring schedule. On April 29, the violinist released her second album, "Shatter Me," which includes more original songs that mix electronic and hip-hop beats with her classical training. "On the new album, I kind of tried to push the limits even more," Stirling said in a recent phone interview.

"Shatter Me" includes some songs with lyrics featuring collaborations with singers such as Lizzy Hale of Halestorm and Dia Frampton, the Utah musician who will open Stirling's show Thursday at Saltair.

Stirling says she was shocked when her album hit No. 1 on iTunes for several days, and then debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200, as well as No. 1 on the Classical and Electronic charts. "That was incredible, something I didn't expect," Stirling said.

Fans — who call themselves "Sterling-ites" and claim they have "Stirling-itis" — helped support the album on PledgeMusic, where for $600 you can buy a cereal date with Stirling after one of her concerts. Her tour continues through the United States, with a fall swing through Europe, Russia and Asia.

Stirling said her fans are remarkably supportive, protective and respectful. And they cross the gamut of ages, from little girls to teenagers to elderly couples to gamers, thanks to her own professed love of games, and her musical tribute to Nintendo, "The Legend of Zelda."

"I just love that anyone can come to the show," said the Suzuki-trained violinist. "I definitely sign a lot of violin books and violins and shoulder rests."

She promises fans that her concert will feel energy-packed and theatrical. During the show, Stirling switches between multiple violins and performs synchronized choreography with two backup dancers, "from lifts to fancy footwork to jumping."

After a recent concert in Seattle, she met up with the band Yellowcard, and she and Sean Mackin compared notes about being rock violinists. About her performance, Mackin told her: "I can't believe that one part, where when the dancers lifted you, you were playing in fifth position."

Stirling's career as a dubstep violinist began with YouTube videos that brought her to the attention of "America's Got Talent" producers. She made it to the quarterfinals of the reality show in 2010.

In her early days, industry officials told Sterling her dancing violin-playing seemed "unmarketable." She stuck to her steps, though, and has proved them wrong: Her single "Crystalize," from her first album, has received nearly a hundred million viewers on YouTube, while her channel has attracted 4.8 million YouTube subscribers.

Stirling and her collaborators "are having the time of our life" on this tour. "We worked so hard to put it together," she said. "I just come off the stage every night still smiling."

Playing in Salt Lake City and Provo "is totally a hometown vibe for me," Stirling said, "because I lived there for about five years, and that's where I started my music career. I owe a lot to Utah."


Lindsey Stirling's 'Shatter Me' tour

The popular hiphop violinist returns to Utah to promote her second album with a Saltair concert.

When • Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m.

Where • Saltair, 12408 W. Saltair Drive, Magna,

Tickets • $30 advance; $35 day of show; smithstix.com

Opening • Dia Frampton