If you weren’t already aware of it, it would be hard to tell that Billie Eilish is just 16 years old. In just a couple of years, she’s garnered an almost cult following and gained the acclaim of record label Interscope. The label signed her back in 2016, when the debut soundcloud release of ‘Ocean Eyes’ went viral. Just a mere two years later and Billie is selling out venues across the states and in the past few days, it was announced that her entire EU/UK had sold out too. So what makes Billie Eilish so special? We headed down to her headlining show at Boston’s House Of Blues to find out.
It’s possible that her music has come in strides because it relates to todays angsty teen, being one herself and she prefaces her second song ‘Idontwannabeyouanymore’ with; “This is for anyone who hates themselves.” Much like this one, a lot of her songs are quite somber and they stand out among a saturated bubble pop market and are a testament to her only being 16 years old. Not only are her songs outstanding but in performing, she outshines those 10-20 years her senior.
There is a distinct connection between Billie and her fans, kids who are packed into every corner of the sold out House Of Blues – some 2500 people – who she interacts with as if they’re old school friends. Performing live to such a vast amount could be overwhelming to anyone but seemingly not to Billie Eilish, who seems to come alive with every new song.
Coming fifth in the lineup is beautifully translated cover of Drake’s Hotline Bling, it’s just Billie and a ukulele and she manages to segue the cover seamlessly into her own song Party Favor. Her choices throughout are what make her live set so spectacular, she knows what will peak with her fans – an American Horror Story intro, a Drake cover, Wii music dance breaks to lead into other songs.
As she reaches Six Feet Under she turns to the crowd and breathes; “Everyone take a deep breath in, just relax” and everyone listens, the crowd falls into silence for the first time of the night. Despite her stardom only being in it’s minor stages, the crowd she’s drawn treats her like she’s one of the veteran greats she has the potential to be.
An encore presents her hugely successful ‘Ocean Eyes’ to be played, to a roaring reception, it’s clear that, just like from this song, her live set poses such promise for Billie and her future. Her success at such a young age is inspiring and having that, as well as her songs, resonate so deeply with people it wouldn’t be too much of a reach to think that in a year or two she could be performing in arenas.