Billie Eilish Proves She's Deserving of a Headliner Slot Following Epic Coachella Performance Debut
With the increasing amount of buzz surrounding Billie Eilish following the release of her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, it’s quite easy to brush her off as just another overhyped artist. But during her mesmerizing performance at Coachella on Saturday night (April 13), the teen singer showed just why she’s at the tip of everyone’s tongues.
Despite only having one project underneath her spiked belt, Eilish made it clear that she was deserving of her late-night slot at the festival. Yet the frenzy that ensued prior to her appearance was an indication that the singer will soon graduate to headliner status. For starters, diehard fans and curious onlookers alike camped out for Eilish way before her assigned set time. The crowd quickly began to fill the Outdoor Theatre stage and spilled over to the festival’s main stage, nearly hindering the space meant for upcoming headliners Tame Impala.
Throughout the festival, there were talks among industry insiders who alleged that other artists did not want Eilish to conflict with their set times, showing just how much power the 17-year-old has managed to acquire in less than two years. The anticipation was beginning to run high, as the singer running 20 minutes late with people questioning if they should leave or not. Soon, the stage began to flicker with white lights as what sounded like chains dragging across the floor rang through the speakers.
Eilish finally emerges, looking completely in her element with an oversized branded sweats suit set and her signature indigo hair in two space buns. As she attempts to kick off with When We All Fall Asleep opener “Bad Guy,” she soon gets drowned out by the sea of fans shout not only every word, but every punctuated syllable and inflection that makes the song so unique.
The most captivating part of seeing Eilish live is how she somehow maintains the eerie quality her voice possess in her music, which she never manages to quaver no matter how high she’s hopping on stage. Along with her impressive vocal control, the singer’s swagger is completely on 100 as she rips through a handful of fan favorites.
“My Strange Addiction” gets paired with some intense dance moves, “idontwannabeyouanymore” is preceded by a random sample of Soulja Boy’s “Crank That (Soulja Boy),” “You Should See Me In a Crown” is paired with the singer demanding the crowd to form a mosh pit in the middle of the grounds (“Open it up bro!” she exclaimed) and “Watch” is backed by a series of dancers sharply moving atop a bed fit for an asylum under blood-red lights.
There’s a few ballad moments, including “Ocean Eyes” and “When I Was Older,” but the sentimental mood doesn’t last long for Eilish. At one point, the singer introduces Long Beach rapper Vince Staples, who joins her to perform their energetic collaboration “&Burn.” Staples’ microphone unfortunately didn’t work for his short appearance, but that didn’t stop the crowd from turning up.
Throughout songs like “All Good Girls Go to Hell” (whose accompanying female silhouette-laden stage design would fit right into a Quentin Tarantino film) and floating on a bed for “Bury A Friend,” Eilish takes time to reflect on the history she’s making with her first Coachella performance. “This is crazy,” she says at one point. “I don’t deserve this at all,” she later exclaims. “I just want us all to be in the moment,” she then says towards the end of her set.
If anyone was questioning Eilish’s popularity following this slightly odd, visually creepy, sonically intricate and overall captivating performance, there may just be something wrong. But at this point, the singer couldn’t care less about the firestorm she’s created in pop culture -- and she won’t be dialing for an S.O.S. any time soon.