“TOUR’S BEEN A DREEEAAAMMMMMMM,” Billie Eilish captioned a set of pictures on Instagram from her concert the previous night in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Yes, I can confirm the tour has been a dream – I had the privilege of being in attendance that night on February 8th in Pittsburgh at PPG Paints Arena. The show was Billie’s fourth date on Happier Than Ever: The World Tour, which is taking the pop star throughout North America, Europe, and Australia during the bulk of 2022.
When Billie Eilish released her second album, Happier Than Ever, on July 30, 2021, I had all sixteen songs on replay for three straight weeks. Though I am a biased, longtime fan of hers and have eagerly awaited a new era of Billie’s music ever since she posted that record-breaking Instagram selfie dramatically revealing platinum blonde hair, I can say wholeheartedly that both the Happier Than Ever album and tour not only live up to the hype, but they surpass all expectations.
The concert started with a bang, as Billie was catapulted out of a trapdoor in the stage and strutted toward the audience with her signature angsty stare. Thousands of fans screamed and jumped to their feet instantly as the intense drumbeat of the opener, “bury a friend,” reverberated throughout the arena.
Billie’s 26-song setlist took us on a journey through her iconic catalog of indie, electropop songs, from her first SoundCloud hit “ocean eyes” to her sassy, hip-hop-influenced single “Therefore I Am.” She swayed gracefully to the seductive “Billie Bossa Nova” and led fans in moshing together during the EDM banger “Oxtyocin.”
Most of the show revolved around strobe lights, beat drops, and heavy basslines, but the 20-year old singer-songwriter also included some calm, more intimate moments for her fans throughout the show. She often took pauses in between songs just to talk to us. Before performing her hit single, “everything i wanted,” Billie asked us to record videos with our phones away from our faces. “I want to see your eyes,” she told the screaming crowd of supporters with an affectionate wave. This attitude of fan awareness was evident a few show dates later in Atlanta when Billie stopped her concert to help locate an inhaler for a fan who was struggling to breathe.
Another special moment occurred when Billie’s older brother Finneas joined her at center stage with his guitar, as they played and sang the acoustic, haunting ballad “Your Power.” Finneas, who co-writes and produces all of Billie’s music with her, was welcomed warmly by fans who adore the siblings for their close bond and successful musical partnership.
The concert concluded with electric performances of “bad guy” and “Happier Than Ever,” quite possibly Billie’s two most successful songs thus far in her career. Watching Billie run around the stage waving goodbye to her fans and soaking in the love brought me to tears. In my opinion, there is nothing more special than watching an artist in their element, doing what they love to do most in the world. It is abundantly clear that Billie Eilish was born to be a performer, but even more evident is the immense appreciation and gratitude she has for her fans. I truly felt blessed to be in the presence of an artist whom I so deeply admire.
Catch Billie Eilish this Sunday, April 3rd performing at the Grammy Awards for the third consecutive year. She is nominated for seven awards, including “Album of the Year,” “Record of the Year,” and “Song of the Year.”
Check out this behind-the-scenes video of Billie Eilish’s road to the opening night of Happier Than Ever: The World Tour.
Listen below to the Grammy-nominated sophomore album from Billie Eilish, Happier Than Ever.