Do you remember being 15? Personally, I was a self-conscious class clown who hadn’t even come close to figuring out who I was. Billie Eilish is different. She possesses the kind of confidence you don’t normally see in a teenager. The way she commanded the crowd — of mostly her peers thanks to the early 10 PM start time — was quite a thing to witness.
Even more impressive is that Billie Eilish is allowed to be herself. She’s a client of Paradigm and is signed to Interscope. Yet she seems to have full control over her sound and her show. She came to the stage to the theme song of The Office. She was wearing the loudest orange vest and sweatshirt — the same one she’s often seen wearing in promo shots.
She reminds me of a mix between Lana Del Rey and the more synthpop-based MØ. She takes some of the finer elements of electronic music — like the drop when she shouts “sike, bitch” during “COPYCAT” — and combines them with her singer-songwriter style. At one point, she did ukulele covers of Drake that transitioned into “party favor”, and you hadn’t heard girls screaming so loudly for ukulele since Jason Mraz and fedoras were cool.
The most MØ-sounding song is “watch” and she possesses the same kind of charisma as the Danish pop singer. Later, she brought her brother Finneas O’Connell to the front to play one of his own acoustic ballads. He followed it up with some thoughtful words about his younger sister, and when he returned to behind his setup at the back I noticed he was a bit glassy-eyed. There’s a lot for him to be proud of, for sure.
The crowd sang along nearly every word — except for a new song she hasn’t released yet, a slow-burning ballad. “Ocean Eyes” and “Bellyache” are the two tracks that went off the most, and when she wrapped up the latter, her set had come to an end.
Billie Eilish is endlessly talented and going places — and fast. She seems to have a good head on her shoulders, better than most teenage pop stars. Her songwriting skills are unique and it will be interesting to see her grow from here.
Photos courtesy of Carl Pocket / Spaceland Presents