Billie Eilish evaluate, Glastonbury 2022: History-making set is 90 mins of noir-pop catharsis

Welcome to the purple room. With flames bursting like panic assaults and lasers slashing around the sky, Billie Eilish bounces down an enormous ramp, lit blood-crimson, and units about inhabiting a Pyramid-sized metaphor for her inner turmoil.

“Are you ready to have some fun?” she asks, between songs about suicide (muted, tribal opener “bury a friend”) and obsession (spook-disco observe “my strange addiction”). Yet she’s quickly asking us to scream at “whatever’s p***ing you off” all the way through a compulsive rendition of “you should see me in a crown”. What we must actually in a position for is 90 mins of noir-pop catharsis.

In its manner, Eilish’s headline set is simply as important as Jay-Z’s or Stormzy’s. Not as a result of she’s the competition’s youngest ever bill-topper, despite the fact that it for sure lifts the roof off each bed room Tik-Tokker’s teenage desires of glory. But as it marks the ascendence of different pop: a home-made, personalized imitation of the mainstream that speaks some distance nearer to the real teenage revel in of 2022. Certainly greater than any quantity of ultraconfident, oversexualised break-up bird-flips written via long-in-the-tooth Swedish manufacturing groups. Alternative pop tones are darkish and downbeat, its feelings uncooked and damaged, its issues doom-laden. Fame is wrought with insecurities, intercourse is regretful and medication, when any are discussed, are most often prescribed for nervousness.

True to shape, there’s a number of angst and lack of confidence working thru Eilish’s set, from the crepuscular mambo of “GOLDWING” to very good nocturnal groover “Therefore I Am”. Midway thru, she mourns the overturning of Roe vs Wade (“a dark day for women in the US”) forward of an acoustic duet along with her songwriting brother Finneas on “Your Power”. Ahead of “everything I wanted”, a observe in regards to the hassles of popularity, she references local weather nervousness, the topic of her new movie Overheated and the theme of her contemporary six-night run on the O2.

But whilst stylistic forebears equivalent to Frank Ocean and The xx have delivered subdued, glowering competition headline displays construction to at least one dramatic crescendo, Eilish skilfully conducts a deeper and extra dynamic revel in. Blessed with a debut album of dank pop bangers and a richer, extra introspective follow-up – final yr’s Happier Than Ever – she skips simply between beginning visceral pity events with “bellyache” and an out of this world “bad guy”, fascinating us along with her youth domestic movies on “Getting Older”, and pausing the display for a self-help remedy consultation.

Eilish interacts with the group whilst acting at the Pyramid Stage


The a lot rumoured visitor look from Harry Styles doesn’t occur, however it almost certainly would were overshadowed via the all-out rock’n’roll climax of “Happier Than Ever”. Alternative pop has arrived, with an almighty bang.

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