Billie Eilish @ACL
Performing on the Honda Stage at the Austin City Limits Music Festival Billie Eilish told me to jump like a kangaroo, so I jumped like a kangaroo. She also sported lime green hair, tied up in ponytails. That day, in the middle of 80 thousand people, I wondered what my hair would look like if it was green and in ponytails. For the record, Ms. Eilish is six years my junior, but that doesn’t matter. Her performance at ACL was weird, energetic, and sultry.
Eilish drew one of the biggest crowds the Honda Stage had seen at Zilker Park, and she did it all in a rose-colored Gucci basketball jersey and a medical ankle boot on her right foot. In front of thousands, she softly sang “Ocean Eyes” and multiple songs from her most recent album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” that was released earlier this year. This included opening with her infamous hit “Bad Guy,” a song that Eilish claims, pokes fun at the way people present themselves and the contradictory personas they attain. Later on, in the set Eilish performed songs like “You Should See Me in a Crown,” the bass echoing in every direction, and the gloomy, emotional “When The Party’s Over.”
Earlier this year, Eilish won the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist, and her flawless, raw talent was the only thing that could echo even louder. Her versatile vocal range and punch-you-in-the-gut lyrics were everything from inspiring to depressing to electrifying. Supported by her brother, Finneas O’Connell, on the keyboard, she was nothing less than charismatic and powerful. This power emanated from her even as she sang from the floor of the stage, as she laid on her back, microphone centimeters from her face.
And while the music was second to none, one of the most recognizable parts to Eilish’s performance, were the dozens of young supporters that filled the crowd- little girls, hair painted green, with Eilish tees. While Eilish’s music might seem provocative to some, her brave, unique, and incredibly artistic persona will continue to influence and empower young girls and boys across the world to exhibit these same characteristics hopefully for years to come.