Finally. We’ve been waiting so long to see Billie Eilish in Belgium again. Her “Happier Than Ever” worldwide was in Belgium for only one night – soldout in a few minutes – and she delivered the show we were waiting for. Maybe even more! Powerful, intense, sincere, emotional, unforgettable.
It was only her third show in our small country (small with the size but big in the music horizon) after La Madeleine in Brussels and an early spot at Pukkelpop 2019 but with one of the biggest audience of the whole festival. And now, the second biggest arena in Europe with more than 20k fans ready to sing every part of her song. She’s only 20 but she’s one of the biggest acts worldwide right now!
But before welcoming Billie Eilish on stage, Jessie Reyez had the job to warm-up the venue. Well, the arena! And she did a great job. Also young but 11 years older than the headliner of the night, she took more time to get a great success. We honestly discovered her with the single Rain she released with Grandson for the movie “The Suicide Squad”. But we’ve been surprised to discover tonight that she also wrote huge songs for other artists like One Kiss, known as a famous single from Dua Lipa. During 45 minutes, she sang her most famous songs – very well known by the crowd – but also spoke a lot. Sometimes we got most the feeling to be at a party between friends than a huge show. Speaking about her exes, about every gossips possible for her personal life, she wanted us to experience this show as a first date. When we see the average age of the crowd, it was maybe really the first date for many of them… less for the parents that come with them. The show was great, not memorable, but a good warm-up.
JESSIE REYEZ – VERY TALKATIVE BUT TALENTED SINGER
At 9pm, the big show can finally start and reveal the huge stage with big screens and a couple of platforms moving on stage differently for each songs. Including for Finneas (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals) and Andrew (drums). Starting with Bury A Friend already put an high level of the show… a level that stayed the average for the whole night!
All her songs speak about strong subjects like depression, toxic relationships, suicide… we could think that the live version would be less strong because a show is supposed to be a party but it wasn’t. Yes, it was a huge party the whole time but we were still able to feel the strong message behind the songs. We just had to look around us to see fans crying during some songs.
Several times during the show, Billie took the time to speak to her fans, to remind them tonight is a safe place, to ask security to give water to some people or to help some fans to leave the ground floor as they weren’t feeling well. She’s only 20 but she acted like a Mom or Grand Sister tonight and it feels so natural for her. Two or three times, she did a small yoga lesson, asked to everyone to say how much they love the people they came with… of course, fans all cried “I Love You” to Billie. The communion was real and sincere.
MANY SONGS ON PAPER BUT LESS ON LIVE
She played more than 20 songs from both albums and singles released in between. But unfortunately, sometimes only a chorus or a short version of the songs. We would have love to hear in full Lovely, Ocean Eyes and so many songs cut after 2 minutes. It reminds us the last tour of Linkin Park: we were so excited when we saw the very long setlist but a bit disappointed when we discover during the show there were lot of short version or mashup. But we still enjoy the show! It was just a bit frustrating. A second point a bit fustrating: the crowd was crying so loud that sometimes it was difficult to clearly hear Billie Eilish‘s voice. It’s amazing to hear the fans singing so much but it’s also great to hear the artist you came to see. Maybe next time they could increase a little bit the volume of her voice and the fans could crying a bit less…
On top the of stage, in front of the stage, the b-stage, the elevator. Billie was everywhere and almost everybody at SportPaleis has had the chance to see her close to them. We even got the feeling the room was too small for her. An arena of 24k people looking to small for an artist? Guess this is was we can call the Success with a big S!
THE SPORTPALEIS IS ALREADY TOO SMALL
The set-list was too long to speak about all the songs so we’ll just point a couple of them. Firstly, Billie Bossa Nova is a good example of songs we didn’t enjoy so much on the new album but feel so much better live! Many songs from “Happier Than Ever” were great but not more on CD but in live, they really take a new dimension. Secondly, TV. This brand new song revealed earlier on this tour at a show in Manchester is a good surprise on the set-list and even if we don’t know if the final version will be acoustic or not, this acoustic live version with her brother Finneas on guitar sounds really well. We already know one song of her upcoming EP to be released later this year. Thirdy and finally, the final duo Bad Guy/Happier Than Ever. What we could call her 2 biggest songs. Happier Than Ever was one of the song we were waiting the most and we haven’t been disappointed at all. Hell no! Everything in this song is powerful: the lyrics are, the music itself is and the live version is. We couldn’t expect a biggest final than this!
Billie Eilish deliver a huge show, even better than what we expected. And it looked so easy for her. She was singing and running everywhere like the SportPaleis was her garden. And she’s only 20. How far will she go?! It’s way too soon to know but we gonna hear her name for many many years. Headliner at Rock Werchter next Summer next to Rage Against The Machine and the biggest names on Earth right now? Why not. She’s one of the biggest name on Earth right now!