Lindsey Stirling, Alexander Jean, The Microsoft Theater, December 21, 2017
Lindsey Stirling and the Warmer In The Winter Christmas Tour made its way into the City of Angeles, unveiling a dazzling display of sight and sound at the Microsoft Theater. It may have been chilly outside, but inside the walls of the spacious venue, one could feel the good cheer and gracious vibes emitting from both the incomparable Ms. Stirling and her fans. In addition to the wondrously imagination performances Ms. Stirling and her first rate band and dancers, opening act Alexander Jean would leave a lasting impression on many of the early arrivals. Featuring Mark Ballas, who was Lindsey’s partner on the hit series Dancing With The Stars, Alexander Jean wove their own vibrant magic onto the proceedings.
On the road since early November while participating on Dancing With The Stars, Ms. Stirling and Mr. Ballas may not have secured the coveted mirror ball trophy, but they certainly won the hearts of their fans who easily sold out the Microsoft Theater on an unusually frigid night in Southern California.
Alexander Jean is the captivating duo of Mark Ballas and BC Jean, a multi-talented husband and wife team who transported the audience into a glorious state of sonic bliss. Performing acoustic in a grand auditorium, you could feel the intimacy and urgency of the music from all over the cavernous Microsoft Theater. Opening with the intriguing refrains of Thief from their Head High EP, one noticed at once BC’s absolutely ravishing voice and Ballas’ extremely resourceful guitar work. Up next was We Three Kings, Alexander Jean’s auditory contribution to the holiday season, which was very well received by the Warmer In The Winter attendees. One definite highlight of the show was when Alexander Jean unveiled a very sensual rendition of the Prince classic Kiss.
Another pinnacle of the show arrived a performance of If I Were A Boy – a song made very famous by Beyoncé and penned by Alexander Jean’s very own BC Jean! What a holiday treat it was to hear this famous selection unveiled with passion and conviction by its own author! Their own current release is entitled High Enough, and the title track was absolutely exhilarating when performed live. It will be exciting to see what the New Year has in store for Alexander Jean, a true DIY labor of love. Alexander Jean held the attention of an entire audience within the hallowed walls of a very packed venue while playing acoustic. And that alone speaks volumes of the talent and commitment to be found within the Alexander Jean experience.
Alexander Jean on Facebook
And it was now time for the main event and this would certainly be a incredible night to remember. While a Kings game would be going on next store at Staples Center, enchantment and artistry would soon prevail onstage at Microsoft Theater. The Warmer In The Winter Christmas Tour had arrived, and as the massive curtain was drawn open, one could see a gorgeous set of three gigantic gingerbread houses. Lindsey Stirling and her trusty violin opened with two classics – All I Want For Christmas Is You and Jingle Bell Rock – performed with the trademark touches that have made the critically acclaimed performer and her shows so famous all over the world. Complete with a full band and dancers, the Warmer In The Winter Christmas Tour had all the makings of a traditional Broadway review – filled with big musical numbers, warm and witty humor, and inspiring heartfelt sentiments.
During the show, Lindsey Stirling spoke passionately of the long and winding road to fame, which would include dealing with little to no support from the industry, a bout with anorexia, and her spiritual beliefs. And what followed was an absolutely poignant rendition of Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen merging into a superbly poignant interpretation of What Child Is This. One of the most delightful interludes of the show was went Lindsey invited her band members to perform a Christmas medley – but with a catch – they would all be using small toy instruments. What a spectacular display of talent this clever segment was, which included Ms. Stirling playing a tiny violin she dubbed “Pickles.”
The Warmer In The Winter Tour continues on with the Lindsey Stirling tradition of wondrously imaginative shows. With annual productions such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra catching on in an epic way over the holiday season, it would be terrific to see Warmer In the Winter lighting up stages all across the nation on a yearly basis. Ms. Stirling has exhibited an imagination and intrigue for her art that is thrilling to behold, and Warmer In The Winter clearly displays an artist at the very height of her creativity. Surrounded by equally talented performers who exude just as much passion for the performance, Ms. Stirling and her crew has truly gifted the world with a very special night of inspiring holiday cheer. Be sure to catch a Lindsey Stirling spectacular in the New Year, as the live shows are vibrantly stunning, with vivid memories that will last a lifetime!
Lindsey Stirling on Facebook
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)