Concert Review: Billie Eilish Live In NZ

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I have taken out my Invisalign and this is the review. . .

Okay, so the first thing I have to touch on is the mass amounts of rubbish that greeted me upon my arrival to Spark Arena. If you’re going to camp out or line up early, respect the venue and clean up after yourself.

But that couldn’t stop the mass amounts of fans flowing into the arena. The earliest arrival time I heard was 5am the day before. Though the barrier spot and interactions with Billie were probably worth it. The crowd was speckled with white and fluro green thanks to her funky merch and it was clear this crowd had a lot of energy to give.

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The lights went down as Finneas took the stage. There isn’t too much to say about his set. Though I was surprised at how many in the crowd knew his music. Though I suppose they love him almost equal to her. Because if you didn’t know, as Billie mentioned last night, Finneas is “her brother, her best friend and produces her music”. Finneas definitely knows how to work a stage and perform. He jumped between sitting at the keys and pacing the stage. He knew how to work the stage and the crowd, even downing a custom Fender guitar at one point. Finneas really got into his performance and it was awesome to see his passion.

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But the time finally came for Billie Eilish to take the stage. The lights went out as a dark and haunting visual played out on the screen. It seemed like a real thought into the concept of ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?’ But that was interrupted as her 2-piece band (including Finneas and drummer Andrew) took the stage and kicked into ‘Bad Guy’. Finneas provided backing vocals and he harmonised well with Billie and Andrew’s drumming gave more of a punch to each beat. I also loved that Billie consistently jumped down a step to get closer to the crowd at the front, really feeding off the energy of those in the front. Her visuals really varied fans somewhat intensified throughout the show. From the music video for ‘Lovely Feat. Khalid’ to spiders for ‘You Should See Me In A Crown’ and a burning doll & live video for ‘watch / &burn’

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Billie, though she was sick, had a lot of energy to give as well. Her sporadic dance moves, facial expressions and consistent jumping showed she felt her music just as much as the crowd did. I also like that she wasn’t trying to hide she was sick, she just embraced it.

Throughout the night it seemed to sink in more and more that she was playing a sold-out arena show as the first show of her tour! It was not a small show. From playing next door at The Tuning Fork a couple of years ago to this. It really shows how far she has come as an artist. “This is fucking crazy!”. Billie asked for the house lights to take in how huge it really was. It seemed to hit her and her brother Finneas came down to give her a hug and kiss on the head.

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Billie played ‘When The Party’s Over’ live for the first time at The Tuning Fork before it was released. And now she’s playing it at Spark Arena as an official single off her new album, which made it like a full circle moment. However, she asked the crowd to be in the moment with her. She didn’t care that phones were out because “this song is fire” but just don’t look at the screen. This was quite a monumental moment and Billie wanted you to see and feel it as much as she did. But in saying that she also wanted you to party. “I can’t get over how unbelievable this is and how grateful I am for you”. And Billie then thanked her team for everything which I thought was a nice touch, especially since the tour just started.

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To allow everyone to feel more love she got everyone to hold the hand of the person next to them and say “I love you”. That’s how you knew the show was really coming to an end. It was time for the last song and she wanted to go out with a bang. “Give me everything you have. Forget everything in your mind. Be here. Go crazy”. And what better way to end the show with ‘Bury a Friend’.

The crowd was crazy all night and honestly, you sometimes couldn’t even hear her singing. “Thank you! I love you!”. A few minutes after departing the stage she came running back to take it in one more time. ‘Goodbye’ played as an outro and the show was over.

Everyone probably thought Coachella was a big deal for her, which I’m sure it was, but I guess nothing beats knowing this huge crowd is literally here just for you. It was awesome that New Zealand got to share that with her. Billie works hard and her appreciation for her fans is so beautiful to see. She really deserves the success and I look forward to seeing her continue on her journey through this crazy industry. GO SEE HER LIVE!

 

 Reviewed and Photographed by Shelley Te Haara
www.instagram.com/art.by.shelley
www.shelleytehaara.com

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