Let me paint the picture for you. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. The temperature is below twenty degrees. A snowstorm had passed through the city, hours before, leaving remainders of ice and slush behind. There are nearly twenty thousand girls, boys, mothers, daughters, sons, and fathers spewed across the Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, all awaiting none other than the pop sensation, Billie Eilish. Billie’s fans are diverse, unique, and their originality can capture an audience all on their own. I could argue that people watching, prior to her arrival, was a show itself. I witnessed strangers hugging, jumping, screaming, and bonding with one another within minutes of meeting. I’ve learned not to underestimate the power of music and the unity it carries, but the magic of watching it firsthand never fails to captivate me.
When Billie took the stage, she took the audience’s hearts with her. For those two hours, it didn’t matter who you were, how you dressed, what kind of job you had, your background; we were all equal. Billie made mention of this fact multiple times throughout the night, preaching the importance of acceptance. In addition, she single handedly cured the infamous Valentine’s Day blues saying, “You can be really happy alone… You are loved”. Based off of the tears on the cheeks of fans around me, I would say that this is a message many individuals needed to hear in that moment.
Billie serenaded the audience with her hits, “bury a friend”, “Therefore I Am”, “Bad Guy”, and “Happier Than Ever”. She also did an acoustic set with her cowriter, producer, and brother, Finneas. It’s common for artists to deviate from the studio versions of their art, but Billie did not. She gave the fans exactly what they yearned for. Not a note off pitch or a song scratched. Perfection is a strong term, but there are not any others word that come to mind to describe her performance.
It is worth mentioning that Billie didn’t have any back up dancer or singers. The stage was hers… and ours. For those two hours, she wasn’t just a celebrity, out of reach, living the infamous Hollywood glamorous lifestyle. Billie was one of us. She was heartbroken. She was confused. She was taken advantage of. She was strong. Billie encapsulated the seasons of life, episode by episode. Nearly twenty thousand individuals were seen.
Thank you for a memorable night, Billie.