The John W. Hart Building was filled with people of all ages on Friday, Jan. 19, waiting to see Lindsey Stirling lift her violin for Rexburg fans for the first time since 2015.
The show opened with “Beyond the Veil,” and a flash of colorful lights revealed Stirling as the star of the show.
Audience members said the music was so intense they could feel it come from the stage, through the floor, up through their feet and vibrate their clothes.
Robert Paventy, a junior studying accounting, said when he and his date arrived at the Hart, the building was packed with thousands of people and Stirling began the show with an energy that matched the audience’s excitement.
“For the most part, the show met my expectations,” Paventy said. “But I didn’t expect that she would tie the gospel and her personal life in with her songs. I enjoyed her songs that had side stories more than the others.”
Stirling said she played “Those Days” in remembrance of her father and her best friend who both passed away by cancer.
“It’s about remembering the best times,” Stirling said to the audience, as images and videos of her best friend and father played in the background.
McKenley Anderson, a sophomore studying health science, said Stirling’s tribute was her favorite part of the performance because it was not just about the music, it was about the message behind it.
“It was emotional for both my fiancé and I,” Anderson said. “She said when her dad was dying they talked about all the good memories they all had together, and I really liked that because when things get sad, you have to remember the good. The song she wrote for them helped her through the hard times, always remembering the good times and not dwelling on the sad times.”
According to Forbes, when Stirling competed on America’s Got Talent, she thought it was all over when judges commented negatively on her style until she realized those judges and critics were the people sitting in the sidelines.
Stirling’s song, “The Arena” was inspired by negative comments from critics and Lindsey’s favorite quote from Theodore Roosevelt: “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,” according to mormonmusic.org.
“It’s so easy to sit on the sidelines, and point out when people stumble and when they fall,” Stirling said to the audience. “That opinion does not matter. The only opinion that matters is the one that is in the arena.”
Anderson said what Stirling stands for and relates to is what make her such a big influence to fans.
“Throughout the night she would share parts of her life to the audience,” Anderson said. “She shared how she struggled with anorexia. What helped her overcome the eating disorder was not only the music but her testimony of Jesus Christ. She shared that she’s not a perfect person and fell on America’s Got Talent for millions of people to see, and she got right back up again when the critics were coming at her. She exemplifies courage and that it’s OK to fall— you just have to get back up again.”