BLOOMINGTON — “Silent Night” may not have been written for the electronic violin, but the fusion of music is the name of the game for Lindsey Stirling.
Her "Wanderland Tour" will bring the popular violinist and dancer to Bloomington's Grossinger Motors Arena Friday night for a holiday show full of showmanship and theatrics.
Stirling usually describes her music as “If a rave pixie got lost in the forest, that’s the music they would dance to,” with a mix of electronic, pop, rock and classical influences. But her holiday album, “Warmer in the Winter,” features several cover songs, a first for her albums, giving her the chance to put her own twist on some classic Christmas carols.
“I’ve always loved like big band music and crooners' sounds like Michael Buble or the old school stuff from Frank Sinatra,” Stirling said in a recent interview. “And on an original album, I could never have put on that kind of music because people would be like, ‘What the heck, has she gone crazy?’ because it’s so far left field from what I do, but on a Christmas album it makes sense.”
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show remain available online from Ticketmaster or by phone at 800-745-3000. Prices are $35, $45, $55 and $75.
“Warmer in the Winter” is Stirling’s fourth studio album in six years. A faithful YouTube community helped launch Stirling to bigger stages, including “America’s Got Talent” and “Dancing with the Stars.”
Her previous records, including her self-titled debut and the sophomore “Shatter Me,” have landed on the Billboard Top 200 Chart and sent her on national and international tours.
“It’s so exciting for the first day on the actual stage and getting to see it all come together and we have the dancers and some of the props all here. It's just making me realize, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s coming to life,’” she said in the midst of the rehearsals leading up to the tour. “I’ve done how many tours at this point and it still gets really exciting when it gets to this stage and it all feels so new and I love it.”
Every ticket for this show includes a digital download of the deluxe edition of “Warmer in the Winter.”
Since the release of the deluxe edition in October, Stirling said she’s received a lot of positive response especially with the addition of a few more holiday melodies.
“It’s always fun to see what people gravitate to the most in terms of songs. Like it’s fun to see people really love ‘Santa Baby,’ and people loved ‘I Wonder as I Wander,’ which I think is my new favorite song on the album,” she said.
Almost all the songs on “Warmer in the Winter” were recorded with live bands or full orchestras, in addition to Stirling’s violin. To bring that to life on stage, Stirling and her crew are going big with a theatrical and, at times, emotional journey, featuring everything from ballroom dance to pop to pointe ballet.
“I always try to make the shows full of variety,” she said. “I don’t want people to have a chance to get bored and for me, of course it’s about the music and that’s the foundation. But when I go to a show personally, I like to be entertained fully, in every way. You know, I want costumes, I want dancers and I like there to be variations in style and so I think this show provides all of that.”
With the holiday theme fully permeated into the show, Stirling said she's able to take the production in two very Christmas-like directions.
“One, I get to be a little more silly and a little more jolly and jovial because it fits Christmas so well and people want that at Christmas time,” she said. “But at the same time, Christmas allows you to be a little more introspective and a little more spiritual and about giving so it’s deeper in that way.”
The tour kicked off just in time for the unofficial start of the Christmas season on Black Friday and will end the week of the holiday, giving Stirling plenty of opportunity in between to see the winter “wanderland” that often blankets the Midwest.
“There’s something magical and very Christmas-y about the snow and so I think it’s fun that we get to kind of get a little taste of it,” Stirling said.