Billie Eilish – The Tuning Fork, 30 January 2018

After discovering Billie Eilish half a year ago, she quickly become one of my favourite rising artists. Being 15, the same age as her, and a part of her core demographic, there was an immediate connection between me and her music. From her bold, outgoing style to her moody lyrics, Billie Eilish is the personification of the “no fucks given” attitude that many 2018 teenagers aspire to. Judging by the audience of “edgy” teenagers at her all ages show last night, it’s clear I’m not the only 15-year-old who relates to her.

The opening act was a performer named Hans. Rapping and singing his relaxing yet hype songs, and dancing with his right-hand man and DJ, Kyle, Hans sent chill vibes through the crowd who were overwhelmingly supportive. He clearly wasn’t expecting the crowd to respond so well, and wore an almost giddy smile throughout the performance. A humble and natural performer, a perfect act to open for Billie. I had never heard of him before but would be interested in seeing him again.

After multiple raucous “Billie” chants, Billie Eilish finally came on-stage wearing bright yellow, her platinum blonde hair striking against the coloured lights. She started off with one of her most popular songs, ‘Bellyache’, which electrified the crowd, who sang along with the sulky lyrics. On stage, Billie is extremely high energy, yet genuine. You could tell that she was enjoying herself whilst she danced. Her energy dominated the room, yet she felt like a friend, like she was dancing with us, not for us. Her interaction with the crowd made the intimate show that much more raw.

She introduced her brother and producer, Finneas O’Connel, who played one of his own songs “New Girl.” With just as much energy and passion as Billie, it’s pretty clear that musical talent runs in the family.

When Billie returned to stage, she played a few songs on her ukulele. What followed was a new, never played before song called “When the Party’s Over.” Billie sat on the stage in front of the crowd and for the only time that night, everyone was silent. As she started singing with the soft piano in the background, everyone just stood and listened, soaking in every word – an intimate, pure moment that was definitely one of the highlights of the night.

Billie finished with her first hit, “Ocean Eyes” and then for the encore played “Hostage” and “My Boy,” bringing the night to a grand ending. She beamed, repeating, “I love you guys SO MUCH!” over and over, proving she is just as much of an excited teenager as everyone else in the crowd.

About an hour after the show ended, Billie and her brother came outside and met all the fans that were still hanging outside the venue. I had the honour of meeting her and she was so patient with all of her fans, hugging them all tightly like they were old friends, accepting gifts and taking photos with them. She told me, “You smell really good, like… Amazing!” and wished me safe travels back to Kerikeri. Billie was such a genuinely kind and down to earth person and so was her brother, Finneas.

The show was phenomenal, and it was a blessing to have had such an intimate and beautiful experience with such a talented human being.

Grace Milner
photography by Shahlin Graves

Six feet under
New girl – Finneas O’connel
Hotline bling – Drake cover
Party favor
When the party’s over
Ocean eyes

My boy