Long before she took the stage half an hour late for her debut at Coachella on the Outdoor Theater stage Saturday night, Billie Eilish had been one of the most anticipated artists at this year’s edition of the fest: the 17-year-old topped the album sales chart last week with her debut “When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?,” breaking all sorts of records and cementing the young singer’s status as a true rising star. The album — a dark, moody melange of stark, synth-led pop — is already an album of the year frontunner; speculation of what she would bring to the Coachella stage was rampant, especially for many young fans who haven’t yet had a chance to see Eilish live during her rapid ascent to near-headliner-status.
So that delay — clearly caused by production issues, as harried stagehands tested pneumatics and keyboards — brought the frenzy to a fever pitch, which Eilish eventually mostly delivered on. Backed only by her brother/collaborator Finneas O’Connell an a slew of instruments and a drummer, Eilish was a confident, rambunctious performer, even when it was evident as she occasionally slowed down that she was overwhelmed by the massive opportunity. “I don’t deserve this,” she said at one point, clearly in awe of the sheer number of people in front of her.
Production was relatively stark — huge screens, affecting visuals, fractal projections on the floor under her — with the exception of a troupe of dancers in jaw-dropping choreography on one song, and Eilish herself performing on a bed as it dangled over the stage on the highlight “Bury a Friend,” her persona menacing a la the girl in “The Ring,” as the bed angled itself towards the audience. A collaboration with rapper Vince Staples on “Watch /&Burn” was a bust: his mic was accidentally muted for the entirety of the song. By the end of the set, for “COPYCAT,” Eilish had the crowd in her small palms, making everyone duck-and-jump in time with the song’s peak. It’s an old gimmick — but, like most of Eilish’s performance, one that she fully delivered on.
Popular on Variety
Dwyane Wade On Supporting His Son at Pride: 'This is My Job As a Father'
'Pose' Cast Explains Why Pride is Important in 2019
Behind the Scenes at Variety's Power of Pride Cover Shoot
Janet Mock on Netflix Deal: 'I Never Thought That I Would Be Embraced'
Comedy Showrunners on the Impact of the WGA Staffing Boost
Showrunners on the Realities of Writing: ‘It’s A Continual Cycle of Panic and Fear, It’s Super Fun’
Chris Hemsworth Responds to the 'Avengers: Endgame' Fat-Shaming Thor Controversy
Hilary Duff and Sutton Foster Proud That 'Younger' Flaunts Women's Careers Over Romance
'Deadwood' Designer Janie Bryant Used Original 1880s Dress for HBO Movie
'Big Little Lies': Can Season 2 Live Up to the First?
Universal Music on Thursday dropped the video for a previously unreleased — and great — version of a song from the late and legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, “Time Waits for No One.” The recording — which captures the singer in his full-voiced glory and is no flimsy posthumous release — languished in the vaults [...]
A former assistant at APA filed a lurid sexual harassment complaint on Wednesday alleging that a partner at the firm sent her graphic text messages and threatened to have her fired when she refused his advances. The assistant, identified in the suit only as Jane Doe, alleges that top management fostered a “toxic, pervasive and [...]
Grammy-nominated rapper Logic — aka Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, aka Bobby Hall —has announced a joint venture with Def Jam Recordings for his new label, BobbyBoy Records, which was formerly known as Elysium Records. The imprint’s initial artist roster is comprised of singer-songwriter John Lindahl, Damian Lemar Hudson (featured on “Black Spiderman,” from Logic’s RIAA platinum 2017 album, “Everybody”); Big Lenbo (featured on two previous Logic albums); [...]
Ten years ago, Adam Lambert burst onto the music scene in a blaze of guy-liner, hairspray and sexual ambiguity as America’s most unlikely “Idol.” But while he had the rock star look down and a soaring voice that seduced the hard-to-impress Simon Cowell, Lambert lost. Or did he? While many blamed homophobia for his runner-up [...]
Camila Cabello’s heart, or commercial instincts, may still be south of the border, judging from the title of her new duet with Shawn Mendes, “Señorita,” which hits digital services at midnight Thursday night. Prior to making the announcement Wednesday, both performers had busied themselves on social media teasing fans about their first collaboration since “I [...]
Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman will star in the movie adaptation of the play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix. George C. Wolfe (“Lackawanna Blues”) will direct from a script by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, based on the award-winning play by August Wilson. Other cast include Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) and Michael Potts. Denzel [...]
Beyonce’s father, Mathew Knowles, addressed the perceptions of skin tone outside of and even within the African American community in an interview with SiriusXM, saying that his daughter’s career was “affected” by her lighter skin, and that the effect might have been the opposite for Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland. In the interview with “The [...]