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Synthesis Concert Review

Synthesis Concert Review

Ugh, the title of this post is just so lame.  But last night was anything but lame.  Last night, I attended the Raleigh concert by Lindsey Stirling and Evanescence.  I’m a big fan of both artists and when I heard about their joint tour a few months ago, I got super excited.  I got even more excited when I learned that they were playing in Raleigh.  I had wanted to go to Evanescence’s Portland, OR performance last year, but didn’t get a chance to go.  This was even better – two of my favorite artists in one night!

The concert started at 7 pm.  I live about twenty minutes away from the venue, and I was worried that I wouldn’t make it in time, but I did.  Fortunately, I got a seat and not a spot on the grass, as I hadn’t brought a chair.  It was very hot when I got there, and it was still light outside.

I am very short.  Even my torso is short, and, unfortunately, I sat behind a bunch of tall people.  I also have social anxiety, and I sat next to two guys who were, fortunately, nice.  I sat there stressing out over how sweaty I was, and my hands were sticky.  I barely even got to see the stage, but there were screens on both sides of the stage, so I could see closeups of both Lindsey and Amy Lee.

Lindsey released Brave Enough in 2016, and last year Evanescence released Synthesis, an album of symphonic-electronic reworkings of songs from their previous three albums.  Evanescence is touring to support Synthesis and because Lindsey performed on the song “Hi-Lo”, they decided to tour together.  Both are fans of each other.

They had an opening act, called Cellogram, which consisted of a cellist and a drummer.  Their set lasted twenty minutes, and it was pretty good.  I liked one of their original songs.  Then we waited about fifteen minutes for Lindsey Stirling’s part of the concert to begin, and while we did that, I watched the full orchestra assemble on stage.  Yes, both artists had a full orchestra supporting them, and they sounded amazing.  It made me nostalgic for my high school choir days.

Lindsey Stirling – Brave Enough

Her set was very colorful and energetic.  She had three costume changes for the first three numbers.  I’ve been a fan of classical crossover for over a decade now, and I’ve never seen anyone so energetic while playing the violin – and she used what looked like an acoustic violin for most of the songs.  The backdrops were also very pretty.

Amy Lee graciously came onto the stage to perform “Shatter Me”, a song from Lindsey’s second album Shatter Me, of which originally featured Lzzy Hale as vocalist.  Unfortunately, I still couldn’t see much, but I did managed to record some of the performance.

My favorite number was “Crystallize” – they performed the orchestral version, of which you can find on the Target exclusive version of her first album, Lindsey Stirling. This number was followed by an interlude based on the song, with a brief narration about how sound and emotions can affect the crystals in ice.

Lindsey did speak to the audience and had an uplifting ‘believe in yourself’ speech, as well as an anecdote about the ‘bless your heart’ saying.  Yes, she thought that it was something nice and it really isn’t.  It’s a very passive-aggressive saying, and I don’t really like it.  But a lot of people get that wrong when they first get here.  I noticed Lindsey wearing tights, and boy did I feel bad for her.  Some other audience members wore tights too, and I just don’t know how anyone does that in this humid heat.  But she was fantastic.

She ended her set with a fantastic Phantom of the Opera medley.

Evanescence – Synthesis

Their part was quite different, as all of the songs on Synthesis are moody and atmospheric.  Amy Lee, the lead singer, is also a very good pianist, and every now and then she’d sit at the piano and play.  Unfortunately, she’d be on the left side of the stage, right in front of the tall people sitting in front of me.  But I still got to hear everything, and that’s the most important part of the show anyway.

I really liked “Lacrymosa”, “Lithium” and the Synthesis version of “Bring Me To Life” which got the loudest cheers of everyone, being that it’s Evanescence’s debut single and all.  To my utter annoyance, these two chicks two rows ahead of me stood up during the entire performance, and I basically couldn’t see anything.  I also got a little teary at “My Immortal”, but that song always makes me teary.

The set ended with the original song from Synthesis, “Imperfection” of which had an f-bomb in it, but it was the only one the entire night.  There were kids in the audience, by the way, but I’m sure they survived.

And then came the encore.  Amy Lee and Lindsey Stirling returned to the stage for a medley of songs I didn’t recognize, but boy was it good.  I recorded the whole thing.  I think it was Escala’s “Palladio” (they’re a female string quartet from the UK), Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tears” and Sia’s “Alive”.

Overall Experience

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I am really short – only 5’1″ – and, therefore, couldn’t see the stage very much.  I didn’t take many pictures either, and the ones I did showed people’s heads.  Ugh, so annoying.

Which brings me to some of the other things I wanted to talk about.  These chicks sitting in my row kept getting up all throughout the concert.  People kept walking in late, holding food and drinks and stuff.  The venue was pretty big, and was packed so I am sure the lines at the various concession stands was long.  But, come on!  The doors opened at 6 pm!  And do you really need to eat while watching a concert?  I had dinner before I left.

Several chicks sitting in the row behind me would not stop talking.  I couldn’t hear them most of the time, since the music was so loud, but I could hear them during the more quiet moments.  Then they decided to sing during “My Immortal” and, my god…they were off-key and pitchy.  It was bad, so bad that the guy sitting to my left turned around and gave them a look, like, “what the hell?”

And, of course, everybody stood for “Bring Me To Life” and I stood too, and even then I couldn’t see the stage.

But, it was an amazing night anyway.  Lindsey, Evanescence and the orchestra are all excellent.  I had a really, really good time.

Here is my recording of the encore.  It looks pretty bad, but sounds good.

 

When we go low, they go high – or not.

When we go low, they go high – or not.

Photo by John Noonan on Unsplash

Sarah Palin is in the news again. Full disclosure: I am still very much a fan of her. I used to be a little crazy about it, but I’m not as much these days. Which is a good thing.

So, British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has a new that premiered on Showtime this past weekend, called Who Is America? (spoiler alert:  it didn’t too terribly well in the ratings, per Breitbart) He is known for dressing up as random characters of his own creation and duping people into interviews. He used to have a TV show, and then he ended up doing feature films – most notably Borat and Bruno. But his star is kind of on the wane now, and he needs to do something to get himself some attention.

How does one do that? Trash Republicans, naturally. The whole premise of the show is to insultingly “interview” random Republican luminaries – most of whom have kind of retired, with the exception of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is running for a US Senate seat – with a couple of liberals (Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders) to make it seem as if he isn’t completely biased.

I might have some personal issues with Vox Day, but Jesus, these people should have read his book SJWs Always Lie. They should also seriously consider his rule of not talking to the press. I can’t believe that none of these people vetted these fake personas, or that any such background check wouldn’t immediately reveal the truth. And why oh why would you trust them?

At least in Palin’s example, Baron Cohen posed as a disabled veteran. Palin is big on veterans’ issues – her son is a (apparently troubled) veteran, after all. They did their homework on her. Even so, I’m still amazed that they fell for this.

It wasn’t just that – they apparently, after interviewing Palin, dropped her and her daughter Piper off at the wrong airport, which caused them to spend three days in DC, unplanned. That is a seriously shitty thing to do.  You can read more about how he treated them at The Hill.

Oh, and his disabled veteran character is a vile caricature of Republicans and veterans. He even went whole hog and set up a website for his stupid character. And, when Palin went nuclear on him for his prank, he wrote a really stupid in-character response.

Check out the description of this character (source):

“A source close to Palin with knowledge of the interview told Breitbart News, ‘Cohen pretended to be a disabled veteran from Kentucky who was a big fan of Governor Palin. He was wearing a necklace made of bullets and had a laptop covered in InfoWars stickers.’

The bullet necklace and stickers for Alex Jones’ InfoWars website were part of the persona Cohen was playing, the source explained.

‘His disguise was basically a caricature of a conservative middle class Trump voter. He was asking her absurd, racist, homophobic, and sexist questions that were all meant to mock Trump voters as a bunch of ignorant and offensive kooks.'”

Sounds nasty, doesn’t it? It sounds pretty nasty to me. It’s so obvious that everyone involved in this piece of propaganda hates Republicans.

One thing that really pissed me off is the insinuation that the migrant crisis in Germany and Sweden and other European countries led by horrible people hell bent on throwing away their heritage and civilization is overblown and anyone talking about, say, that one year old little girl being beheaded in a Hamburg subway is a flat out racist and crazy conspiracy theorist. This is a real problem, and Angela Merkel’s wretched government has been working overtime to suppress any information that might be even slightly unflattering to her horde of precious migrants. This is the same woman that asked Mark Zuckerberg if it was possible for him to censor German citizens by deleting whatever truth they might post on their Facebook pages! Oh, but it’s just a bunch of bullshit by paranoid racists, right?

He pulls bitchy stunts like this and wonders why we come across as paranoid. It isn’t fucking paranoia if they’re really out to get you, and guess what? It’s plain and obvious that he’s out to fucking get us.

Now, of course, the right-wing media has been all over this story. Concern trolls are telling us we shouldn’t talk about it because it just gives them free publicity. So? My own personal motto is to never, ever let anything the left says go unchallenged. If it does, then it becomes the status quo. People believe it. We have to refute it, especially given that this is a comedy show. It’s culture. Remember what Andrew Breitbart said – politics is downstream from culture. Sarah Palin is probably one of the few Republicans who really understands that. We can’t let this go unaddressed.

I didn’t watch the premiere, and I have no plans to watch the show.  As I noted earlier, the ratings weren’t so great, but they weren’t as bad as I’d like them to be.  I thought this example of leftist mockery to be a bit funny, but, according to the same article, they spent more time mocking conservatives than they did progressives (source):

“‘Next, we see Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, a pussy hat-wearing ‘cisgender, white heterosexual male’ who bicycled across the country interviewing ‘racist and childish’ Donald Trump supporters in the weeks after ‘the election was stolen from Hillary Clinton.’

This Cohen character has dinner as the South Carolina home of June Page Thompson, a South Carolina Trump delegate, and her husband Mark Thompson.

The couple listened as the ultra-left-wing Cain-N’Degeocello revealed ridiculous personal details about his child-rearing — he forces his daughter to ‘free bleed’ on American flags instead of using menstrual products. The Thompsons politely oblige the absurd stories — Cain-N’Degeocello’s partner has frequent affairs with a dolphin — never passing judgment.”

See, this couple, who were Trump delegates in 2016, just sat there and listened to this nutjob and weren’t nasty at all.  I’m amazed they let this segment air.  And yeah, I thought that was funny, because I can easily see some hateful leftist having their daughter free bleed on an American flag.  After all, some bitchy YouTuber wiped her ass with the American flag – on camera.  You can read about it here – this is an article about how some Georgia politician criticized what she did, and he got shit for it because he called her a “knee grow” (say it out loud).  But this is the only article that has a picture of the stupid bitch (it’s censored, thank God, because that was gross).  Sadly, the whole “use the American flag to clean up my nasty shit” thing is entirely plausible, which makes this small segment funny.  The best humor has elements of the truth, after all.

The rest of it, however, is bullshit and they know it.  No, we aren’t racists, or sexists and a great deal of us aren’t homophobes anymore either.  But they have to have their little boogeyman or else people might think objectively about their platform and their stance on the issues, and might determine that the Democrats haven’t really been doing anyone any good for decades.

This is well over a thousand words already, but I have one more thing:  this gun shop owner didn’t fall for Baron Cohen’s schtick.  I don’t think it’s fair to characterize those that did as stupid.  As I said, most of the people that did are middle-aged or older, and most of them aren’t that big on popular culture, and Baron Cohen isn’t as big as he used to be. You can read about it here.  I thought it was awesome.

Anyway, expect the media to crow about Palin and Roy Moore being mocked on this stupid show, as they weren’t in the premiere episode.  This is just more stupid propaganda, and it doesn’t matter if it’s unsuccessful.  They’ll keep on doing this because, as Vox Day says, SJWs always double down.