Billie Eilish Live Review - Holocene - 10/9
There are certain shows that you may look forward to as soon as you get a ticket, and then there are those concerts that you anticipate as soon as you hear an artists' music for the first time. Billie Eilish is the latter. For those who are unfamiliar, Billie Eilish (Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell) is a 15-year-old prodigy from LA, who writes and produces her music with her older brother, Finneas O'Connell. Her success stems from the first official single released under the name Billie Eilish - 'Ocean Eyes' - and has gone on to become a massive hit, even garnering its own Snapchat filter. I was anxious, excited, nervous, and more prior to this show at Holocene. I can't thank Alexandra Baker at High Rise PR enough for helping get access to this show. Without further pause, let's dive in.
As those who approached Holocene on this chilly night in early October, one thing was clear - Billie's fans don't mess around. I chatted with some fans near the rear of the venue upon arrival before Billie came on stage, who described the scene outside Holocene around 2pm that afternoon as 'mayhem'. It was a sold out show, and the raucous, energetic teens were mostly dropped off by their parents, who then proceeded to grab dinner and drinks around the venue - and a couple even had the luck to run into Billie outside the venue and snap a photo with her that ensued in massive jealousy from her children. I couldn't believe it myself.
The anticipation was massive, and as the lights went down, The Office's theme song comes on loud and clear through the venue. This unexpected intro was greeted with massive cheers, and all of a sudden Billie emerges, and the beat drops and switches directly into one of my personal favorite tracks, 'COPYCAT'. Her style, which is very unique and beloved by her fans on social media, was in full flare this evening - sporting a heavy winter jacket over what appeared to be an olive jumpsuit. She utilized the crowds energy, as if her 15-year-old self needed any added juice to get going. She transitioned directly into 'Idontwannabeyouanymore', a track that Billie recommends for fans who want to get a glimpse inside her head and her personal insecurities.
Billie moved onto 'watch', followed by '6 feet under', the second single that helped boost her into the spotlight late in 2016. At this point in the show, you could feel the energy in the air. It was buzzing - we can thank the young, enthusiastic, hysterical fans for this electricity in the air all evening. Billie slowed things down at this point when she grabbed a ukulele to do a cover of 'Hotline Bling', which diverged perfectly and unexpectedly into her song 'party favor'. The song is formatted as a voicemail that Billie is leaving for a boy who has become possessive of her and is an attempt at trying to force him out of her life - this subtle transition in her live set was fantastic. Billie then left the stage and handed the reigns over to Finneas, who performed an acoustic solo. The slowed down pace continued with a brand new song from Billie on the piano - it was a sad, exhausting song, but this is what we've come to expect from the youngster's music. The idea of new music from her excites me more than I can explain.
The mood of the show at this point was subdued, reflective, and restrained. Billie then burst into 'my boy', another of my favorite tracks of hers. The atmosphere changed instantly, and the youngsters and older fans alike were back in full stride, dancing along to the beautiful beat, and the disco ball was even utilized to help revitalize the crowd. Billie soared through 'hostage', the finale on her debut EP don't smile at me, before playing the fan favorite 'Ocean Eyes'. The scene was unreal. Nearly every single fan in the small, packed venue had their phones out to record it. This scene is usually a turn off as a concert-goer, but I'll admit this moment gave me goosebumps. When a young, incredibly talented artist has a song like this that resonates with so many people, seeing the pure joy and bliss amongst the fans trying to capture a moment early in an artists' career is pretty amazing.
Billie left the stage after 'Ocean Eyes', but there was no chance the fans inside Holocene would let her off the hook that easily, especially after skipping one of the biggest songs off the EP. After about 90 seconds, Billie and Finneas came back on stage for one more track - 'bellyache'. The crowd was going insane over the course of the last song, written from the perspective of a psychopath, something they both enjoy doing quite a bit in their songs. Taking the perspective of someone else, Billie's own personality remained unfazed all evening. The young, up-and-coming prodigy of what some news outlets has described as 'moody-pop' music had complete command on stage, ran around and lost herself in her music, snapping her limbs back and forth similar to how Banks and Lorde perform. You can see influences in her style of music and performance, but Billie is an act on a new level right now, leaving artists scrambling to try and emulate her style. The future is Billie - whether she is willing to accept that or not.
Billie Eilish Gallery
Holocene - 10/9/17
Pics by Hans