It’s the holiday season, and with it comes any number of traditions that we enjoy every year. Well, almost every year. With the on-set of COVID last year, the holidays looked quite different. Instead of gathering with extended family, we held virtual get-togethers on Zoom. Annual traditions were all put on hold as we locked down last winter in hopes of just getting through the season. Live music was completely unthinkable at the time and is only just now really beginning to come back to the stage. One such tradition that was a casualty of 2020 was Lindsey Stirling’s annual holiday tour. Over the last several years, it’s grown into a show that I prioritize covering year after year, but I’ve also bought tickets and brought my family along, too.
As you can imagine, the announcement of her 2021 Christmas Program Tour was a welcome return to normalcy in this household. We missed these things so much, my wife and I decided to buy tickets for all of our parents as well, so our son could enjoy this evening with as much family as possible. You’ll no doubt hear in my interview with Lindsey just how much her show (and holiday music on her ‘Warmer in the Winter’ album) helps us connect with the holiday spirit.
Let’s get on to the show, though. We arrived at Shea’s Buffalo. Out of my entire family, my wife, son and mom have all been to one show or another over the last several years. We brought everyone else under the premise of “you’re going to love this!” Spoiler alert: they did.
The 90-minute show began promptly at 8pm, kicking off with her rendition of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas.” She immediately followed up with original tunes “Christmas Come On” and “Warmer in the Winter.” Right from the on-set, the stage was filled with choreographed dancers, overflowing with holiday imagery including Christmas trees, tinsel, lights and a brand-new wardrobe of festive outfits. For anyone that’s seen one of the past holiday tours, there’s no doubt that this year’s show has been completely reimagined.
In terms of music selections, her set did stay fairly consistent as in years past. That said, it’s a holiday show, and we’ve come to expect the staples here, including “Let it Snow” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” I was happy to see that Stirling kept the light-hearted moment where her band joined her at center stage to play a few tunes on miniature child-sized instruments.
A huge addition to this year’s show was the addition of arial performances. This was something Lindsey gave me a quick preview of during my interview prior to the show as well, and honestly, I can’t imagine seeing her show without it anymore! You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen Lindsey Stirling playing her violin upside down while suspended over the stage! This is exactly what keeps us coming back year after year, knowing that an artist is constantly trying to push the limits and find new ways to bring their music to life on stage.
A few other selections that really highlight the evening included “Hallelujah,” “Santa Baby,” “Carol of the Bells” and her main set finale with a cover of the theme song from “The Grinch.”
I’ve said it for years to anyone that will listen. This show is a staple of the holidays, and I’ll be happy to cover it any chance I can! Keep your eyes open next holiday season and be sure to go and check this tour out if it comes to a city near you.