Billie Eilish at Glastonbury 2022: pyrotechnic pop packs a punch | Glastonbury 2022

It’s now not simply that Billie Eilish is, as she’s willing to show, the youngest headliner in Glastonbury’s historical past … it’s that she’s the primary mainstream pop big name – as in the type of pop big name that tweenage women scream at – to headline Glastonbury. A couple of years in the past, the announcement of an artist like that filling the principle Friday night time slot at the Pyramid level would most definitely have generated a point of controversy. Some berk would have were given up a petition about it. But in 2022, the semblance of Billie Eilish’s title on the best of the invoice handed with out remark.

Whether that’s proof that Glastonbury’s target market is skewing more youthful, or that Glastonbury is changing into extra pop-facing within the artists it books, or that Eilish is regarded as of a reasonably other stripe to her friends, is an engaging query. Watching her soar from the commercial electro pop of You Should See Me in a Crown, to the kitschy living room stylings of Billie’s Bossanova, to the Beatles-y Getting Older, to the Dr Dre-influenced All the Good Girls Goto Hell, one is struck through the sense that she’s no doubt extra musically eclectic than maximum of her friends. And when you get the impact that gala’s aren’t essentially her herbal habitat – “you guys are troupers, with your tents and shit”, she opines at one level – from the instant she seems, she appears completely at house.

While most of the artists who seem at the Pyramid level on Friday appear overawed through the dimensions of the group they’ve attracted and the vociferousness in their reaction – at one level, it looks as if Sam Fender is so struck through the instant he may get started crying – Eilish appears the rest however. There’s one thing imperious about her efficiency: all of it feels appealingly assured. The set is basically a truncated model of the display she’s been traveling round arenas in fresh months, and it comes entire with pop area display staples together with dividing the target market up and getting them to cheer in flip, a large number of speak about empowerment and loving your self, and movies of the artist as a small kid taking part in at the large displays. But it doesn’t lose the rest in translation to a competition surroundings. If she asks the target market to crouch down and bounce, they luckily oblige. It’s heavy on slow-moving ballads, which is theoretically dangerous, however she by no means turns out to lose the group.

Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Perhaps that’s as a result of Eilish is a massively attractive performer. Moreover she surely seems to be taking part in herself, at odds together with her pouty gothic symbol and the plethora of songs on her ultimate album – Happily Ever After – that made being a teenage pop sensation whilst you’re slightly out of her teenagers sound like a lovely depressing industry. Her enthusiasm is infectious, her greatest hits – Burya Friend, Bad Guy – pack an immense bass-heavy punch, whilst the ballad Your Power, offered with a point out of the overturning of Roe Vs Wade as “a dark day for women”, has a spellbinding, eerie fragility. By the time she ends with Happier Than Ever’s slowly-building name observe – its furiously indignant crescendo given an additional layer of theatricality through the sheer amount of pyrotechnics exploding over the level – her efficiency doesn’t simply look like a musical shift for Glastonbury, however a triumph as neatly.

Leave a Comment