Lindsey Stirling in Prague

Oct 21, 2014

Yesterday, on October 20, 2014, we went to the first Lindsey Stirling concert in Prague. We’ve been looking forward to the performance for several months since we bought the tickets well in advance after I had discovered that Lindsey will perform in Prague. Actually, at the time the event was supposed to take place in Lucerna Music Bar but the venue was later changed to Incheba Arena because of the demand.

Even though we love Lindsey’s music and have been listening to it for quite some time the concert disappointed us. Not Lindsey herself but the organisation and support which lessened the experience so much so that even her music couldn’t save it.

We arrived at Výstaviště roughly half an hour before the advertised beginning of the concert and joined the half kilometre queue for entrance. The queue still grew and we definitely weren’t the last to arrive. Still, we spent over thirty minutes snaking towards the arena. The major hold up was checking for water bottles at the entrance because god forbid that anyone had any water on themselves.

I’ve never been to Incheba Arena before and hope I’ll never be again. The entrance is at the level of the balcony which was already crowded so we took the stairs to the main floor. The landing of the stairs and the main floor are separated by a wall with a passage about 6 meters wide which unfortunately isn’t lined up with the stairs. Moreover it’s exactly in the middle of one of the sides of the space and since the stage takes quite a lot of space it ended up being roughly at one third of the distance from the stage.

It’s easy to guess how it looked when we arrived: the front half of the floor was already full of people and the only entrance was leading into the crowd. Since the total intelligence of a crowd is the minimum of its members people wanted to stay in the passage (it was close and slightly elevated over the main floor) even though hundreds of people were still outside or coming in and just trying to get to the back of the main floor.

When we got to the entrance a through the crucial bottle check it was five minutes after the official beginning, definitely not the last in the queue and the warm-up act had already started! Not that I cared for it much anyway but it seems irrational especially when combined with the fact that when it ended people started chanting for Lindsey and… nothing. A minute later stage hands appeared moving the equipment. When they finished the crowd started chanting for Lindsey again and… nothing. After five minutes, the lights scanned the crowd up and down and swirled around, people started chanting again and… still nothing. The lightning operator moved the lights several more times stirring less and less enthusiasm in the fans. Lindsey appeared more than twenty minutes after the warm-up act ended so that the crowd had enough time to cool down (at least metaphorically if not literally).

The sound setup and its effect of most of the songs is ironically exactly depicted in the new video released on the day of the concert:

Even though we found a decent spot around half way from the stage we felt like this for most of the ninety minute performance. Breaks for costume changes and catching breath were surprisingly welcome not only because of the sheer loudness but because Lindsey was pretty funny. My left ear stopped ringing around the lunch the following day. The sound guy whose station was at the same distance as us wore noise cancelling ear buds the whole time. The most irritating thing is that in the middle of the concert she performed one of the songs “acoustically” and it was great! Perfect sound, the highs weren’t tearing my ears off, I could hear the whole range, everything! However for the next song, the craziness started again.

I’ve written quite a lot of text complaining and it sounds very negative but it’s not because of me not trying to enjoy it. If only the organisation was poor and venue stupid I’d be excited but since we didn’t get to hear a lot of Lindsey’s music I can’t help it. It disappointed me.

We went to Pentatonix concert in the spring which was in crowded Lucerna Music Bar and it was excellent. I wish Lindsey’s concert was more like that and not what we’ve experienced.