Billie Eilish Proves Herself a Bona Fide Anti-Pop Star at L.A. Shows
Singer-songwriter Billie Eilish may only be 17 years old, but she’s already one of the hottest performers out there. Just days after she released her debut LP “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”, she went on to be one of the most lauded performers at Coachella 2019, and now she’s headling her own tour. After a string of shows in Australia, Europe, and other parts of North America, Eilish has returned to her hometown of Los Angeles for three sold out shows. Entertainment Voice was there at the Shrine Expo Hall for the second of these shows on July 10, witnessing firsthand what all the excitement was about.
While Eilish’s music has an appeal that spans generations — she’s already generated comparisons to the likes of Fiona Apple, Morrissey and Tori Amos — her most fervent fans are her fellow Generation Zers. While at most concerts attendees trickle in from the time the doors open until just before the main act, the Expo Hall was already packed by the time the opener went on with mostly with teenagers, many of them who were accompanied by a parent. Eilish’s opening act throughout the tour, rapper Denzel Curry, had to pull out of Wednesday’s show due to a recent injury, but Atlanta hip-hop duo EARTHGANG stepped in and got the crowd going with their socially-conscious raps. At one point they even invited four lucky audience members up on stage with them to show off their moves.
To say the anticipation was high before Eilish took the stage would be an understatement, as the audience members made excited noises as a response to any movement on the stage in the minutes leading up to her set. Even the guy mopping the stage between sets received received a hearty cheer.
Needless to say, the crowd was ecstatic by time Eilish took the stage just after nine. She got off to a strong start with “Bad Guy,” her biggest hit to date. Eilish is often referred to has being an “anti-pop star,” and this is at least partly due to her personal style, and Wednesday night she donned another baggy outfit. At first glance, Eilish’s oversized t-shirt and shorts look like clothing she just grabbed out of a drawer last minute, but the neon lime color, her signature shade, offset her stunning LED backdrop, which projected a variety of colors and images that matched the mood of her songs.
Next came “My Strange Addiction,” a song about a love that turns into sickness. As many of the diehard fans knew most of her songs, their singing almost drowned out Eilish at times, as was the case with “idontwannabeyouanymore,” another soulful number in which Eilish displays an emotional depth beyond her years. Same goes for “Watch,” a song in which Eilish sings about taking back her power after a relationship gone bad.
Eilish was accompanied by Finneas O’Connell, her older brother and who is not only her songwriter partner, but the producer of all her music. The strong bond between Eilish and her sibling, who is also an actor who had a recurring role in the final season of “Glee,” was evident throughout the evening. A poignant moment in the show came when a bed came down from ceiling and the pair cozied up to each other on top of it, Eilish with her mic and her brother with his guitar. Before”I Love You,” she reminisced about how the time the duo wrote the song on top of her own bed at two in the morning, and explained how they wanted perform it just how they did back then.
After “Ocean Eyes,” Eilish’s debut track that she released on Soundcloud in 2016 that started it all, she kindly asked her fans to put away their phones and live in the moment for “When the Party’s Over.” Displayed in her backdrop was the simple but darkly beautiful music video in which Eilish cries tears of blood. The evening ended on another high note, as she brought down the house with her hit song “Bury a Friend.”
Eilish shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, as the “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” has dates throughout the summer and fall, and is set to end November 17 in Mexico City. With everything else going on, she has found the time to create a remix of “Bad Guy” with none other than Justin Bieber, which just dropped on July 11.