Where you put them you put them, the golden brothers of pop are fine. Whether it’s the most intimate acoustic gig, an improvised ukulele set, an arena pulsating under the amps with thousands of people, Billie Eilish and her creative half, brother Finneas, seem to possess a magic formula that it leads them to make the most of every situation. They still make a great impression. And they also do it in the deserted Hollywood Bowl, flanked by one of the most important orchestras in the world, as they sing their city and their music.
After the very successful October 2020 experiment of Where Do We Go?, among the live shows that had most distinguished themselves in the vast landscape of pandemic live streams, Billie Eilish teamed up with Disney + to stage a new concert experience, this time not live, built around the tracklist and concept of his most recent album, Happier Than Ever. The Californian singer-songwriter adds the dedication to the title of the album A Love Letter to Los Angeles, leaving little room for misunderstandings: Los Angeles made Eilish what she is now, has always accompanied her, and no one should forget that.
The show comes to life in a universe where one Billie, the real one, sings on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl, while the other Billie, her animated version, wanders among the huge LA junctions that seem to spin on themselves. endlessly, between the illuminated streets and the very high roofs dominated by neon lights, between the Hollywood undergrowth consumed by the desire for fame and success, between the dreams that have found fertile land and those that have badly disintegrated in the world capital of industry cinematic.
No forests or depths, as we were used to in Where Do We Go?. Billie Eilish’s new project is more sober and more focused on music. Also because if the songs featured in Where Do We Go? they certainly didn’t need to be pushed – except for the most recent ones No Time to Die And My Future – the songs of Happier Than Ever, released in July 2021, are still maturing and gradually showing their facets. Slavishly following the order of the tracks on the disc, from the first to the last, immersed in the iconography of Los Angeles Eilish gives the maximum emphasis both from a musical and a scenic point of view.
Not wanting to divert the spotlight from the location, the famous Hollywood Bowl, directors Robert Rodriguez and Patrick Osborne have kept the arena as a fixed element, instead playing on the changing of moments – and therefore of the lights and atmospheres – of day and evening, on the composition of the ensemble and on the type of performance ranging from the orchestral arrangements of the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel – honorable mention for that of Therefore I Am – to the intervention of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus which he makes his own Goldwing to more intimate moments where only Eilish and Finneas are on stage, as in the case of Your Power.
Billie Eilish has always had a lot of ideas and not just in terms of music. But what she didn’t have before, before the millions of records sold, before the Grammys and before becoming the youngest of the 100 highest paid celebrities in the world, were the resources to make them. Now that there is no shortage of them, we can enjoy them. Incredibly, however, despite everything – and in the whole there is also the cartoon version of Billie, the most lacking point of the project – the greater attention in the end falls on the songs, which from the beginning of the career of the two artists remain great songs. .
Only when the lineup reaches the last song, Evil Fantasy, you realize that Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, out of any greatest hits logic, can afford to play an entire album from start to finish without boring and without even the most majestic stage effect being able to steal their scene. The show started a few years ago in a Los Angeles bedroom. The show, even today, is them.