Billie Eilish at The Anthem
Halfway through her set at The Anthem, Billie Eilish asks everyone to put their phones down and yells “I want you to live in that feeling. Whether it’s a good feeling or a bad feeling. It’s the only feeling you can get to live right now. So live in that s*** right now!” Eilish, aka William Eyelash, is only two months into her When We All Fall Asleep tour and is already the biggest pop star in the world.
What started out as a small indie pop hit with her debut EP, Don’t Smile At Me, has turned her into a megastar in a span of one year, defining a new generation of music fans. Eilish is reaching out to Gen Z listeners like no artist before with lyrics often focused on loneliness and heart break. Growing up is hard and for Gen Z, it’s full of pressure from social media and the world’s constant desire for instant gratification.
Her performance was almost like a movie. Sold out fans screaming chanting “Bill-ie,” and a huge electric modern stage. When Eilish’s brother and producer Finneas O’Connell makes it onto the stage, the crowd is ready. A projector of a graveyard appears, and in the center comes the one and only Eilish. Kicking it off with her single, “Bad Guy,” an instant personal connection forms between the fans and the musician. It’s not that they simply know the lyrics, they also recognize the emotions.
Performing her hits out of her debut album such as “You Should See Me in a Crown,” “idontwannabeyouanymore,” and “Wish You Were Gay,” her set was electrifying and intimate at once. Perhaps the most touching part of the show was when Eilish and O’Connell sat together on a bed similar to the album cover. Billie recalls that she often had trouble sleeping during the writing process, saying she would wake up suddenly in the middle of the night and wrote songs with her brother. This is how “I Love You,” was written.
The night ended in the most haunting way as possible. Out of nowhere, a devilish voice whispers “Billie” and the crowd screams as loud as they can. Billie jumps off the stage and runs into the audience to give her thanks one last time. Before saying goodbye, she covers her face as if this was all a dream, gently waving as she walks off stage. Photos and write-up: Kimchi Photography