By now, we all know how utterly obsessed I am with the phenomenon that is Billie Eilish. Since first hearing her early last year, I’ve wanted to grow up to be Billie, which made seeing her at The Howler on the 8th of February all that more incredible. As I’ve mentioned in my posts about seeing Gretta Ray and Dean Lewis, The Howler is one of my favourite venues in Melbourne, and Billie made it ten times better.
Two of my friends and I caught the train into the city, and after a quick dinner and some drinks, caught the tram down to Brunswick, where The Howler is located. It was a short tram ride and we made it for the last part of OKENYO, the support act’s, set. She was such a great support act. A mix of the hard hitting bass and dimension that Billie brings to her song, with an ethereal quality to it with really beautiful backing vocals. Her voice was equally as amazing. After listening to some of her songs on Spotify, I definitely enjoyed her live performance a lot more. It was so dynamic and impactful live, her vocals seemed so much more stronger in person, but definitely check out her Spotify and have a listen to some of her music when you get a chance.
There was a short break and finally, Billie came out.
Despite coming during the support act, we managed to get a pretty good spot, and when she came out it was slightly unnerving and unreal. After two years of seeing her through a screen, laughing at her Instagram mystory’s and just being in awe of her as a being, seeing her in person was so strange, but at the same time, one of the best experiences ever. She opened with bellyache, her most popular song from her album dont smile at me.
She was the perfect mix of insane energy and stillness when it was needed, and watching her, it was so hard to imagine that she only turns 17 this year. It’s simultaneously the most inspiring and crushing thing ever to know that she’s accomplished so much in such a short time and that she’s accomplished so much in such a short time.
Her set was perfect in every way. She was no-nonsense and while a lot of the time I genuinely enjoy when musicians stand on stage and have a bit of banter with the audience, Billie kept it to a minimum, but you could still see how much fun she was having and it seemed so natural that she kinda flied from song to song It really suited her and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Her brother Finneas is just as talented. He co-writes a lot of her songs with her so halfway through she stepped to the side and he sang a song that literally punched me in the gut. It honestly runs in the family, I’m telling you. They even teamed up for a few dance breaks that link back to Billie’s formal dance train, and he accompanied her for a couple of songs as well.
Billie even sat down to sing a song that’s yet to be released, and if it’s anything like the live version, it’s going to be one of my favourites. The song captured everything I love about Billie. It was super, duper sad, but her vocals literally soared. It was a simple song, but the lyrics made my heart stop a couple of times, and there were genuine audible gasps from the audience. I’m just going to patiently wait for this song to be released. Probably not so patiently.
She finished with my boy, which was definitely a crowd pleaser and one of my favourites. Off stage for a minute, she swear to God, Naruto ran back on for the encore where she sang hostage, which hushed the crowd entirely. I’m pretty sure everyone was equally in awe as I was. For a 16 year old to hook and hold an 18+ crowd as tightly as she did, Billie’s charisma and energy was so infectious. Finally, finally, we were instructed to mosh as much has we wanted (“yeah even you guys at the front, punch someone.“) as she sang COPYCAT. It was like she had saved up her stores of energy for this one song, and she bounced and jumped around the stage, dancing and head banging along with the rest of us. The live version was so dynamic and the drum breaks added a whole new layer that the studio version doesn’t even touch. It was great to get another side to the song that allowed the audience to really physically get into it.
Not even a week after Let Go Fest and my mind was once again blown by such an incredible live act. To date, Billie Eilish is probably in my top five concerts I’ve attended and by far, my favourite act that I’ve seen at The Howler. From the moment it ended, up until the time we all got home, all my friends and I could think and talk about was how she surely wasn’t real? She seemed too good to be true, not only seeing her in person, but hearing such a mature and strong voice from someone so young, live and so close. If you ever get the chance to see Billie Eilish live, please go. You 100% will regret nothing, I promise.