Article and Photos by: Charles Yamabe
Chicago, IL — It’s Wednesday night and even though Lollapalooza doesn’t start until Thursday, the first round of official after parties is getting ready to kick off. Tonight’s artist is the 16-year-old phenom Billie Eilish, who is getting ready to take the stage amid screams at a sold-out House of Blues. At first glance, it’s noticeably a massive female presence. Literally, all that can be seen is a throng of screaming girls ranging from mid-teens to late twenties with a sprinkling of older men and women. With chants of “Billie… Billie,” Eilish takes the stage to a deafening roar from the crowd.
It’s immediately clear why Billie is so popular with the millennial and older crowd that has packed the house midweek. She brings a high energy show complete with nonstop (choreographed and not) dance moves, full laser light background, and fog. But it’s not just the theatrics that draws in the crowds. There is sultry angst that is presented in her voice and hypnotic lyrics. Yet, still, underneath it all lies the embodiment of a typical goofy teenager.
A welcome addition to the delight of the screaming girls is Finneas O’Connell. Finneas is the older brother of Billie who co-writes, performs, and produces many of the tracks heard on Billies EP Don’t Smile at Me. Throughout the show, Finneas sings along with Billie and has rocking guitar solos which riles up much of the younger female audience. At just 21 years old, Finneas is still relatively young; Some may say too young to fully understand life. But there is one thing that rings through in the lyrics that seems to be a recurring theme, and that’s heartache. That is the ingredient that makes the music so relatable. Young or old, people understand the sadness, anger, and confusion that come with heartache. Finneas’s lyrics and Billies soulful voice combine to create a magical experience that expresses the uneasiness that comes with dealing with such feelings.
It’s easy to see why Billie was chosen as one of Apple music’s UpNext artists and why so many in the music industry are calling her “the one to watch.” She has a talent and zest for life that is way beyond her years — It will be interesting to see what the future brings for the budding artist. With a debut album in the works due sometime 2018, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Billie Eilish will be a household name for years to come. To find out more about Billie or to get tour date information visit http://www.billieeilish.com