On the first real warm and sunny day in a long time, we trekked out to see Billie Eilish. As we approached off the freeway onto Saltair Drive, we watched droves of people park alongside the frontage that are hoping to avoid the outgoing traffic. A yellow school bus shuttled back and forth between the overflow lot and the already packed Saltair. The initial plan involved this show being at The Complex, but after seeing all the people and hearing stories of ten-hour waits for front row and bar spots, it was obvious that Saltair was the ultimate location.
As we entered the venue, we transitioned from the bright outdoors to the dark interior. Crossing the unused stage inside, the approach to the outdoors was blinding as the end-of-day sun began to burst across the salt flats. Walking outside, the view of the Great Salt Lake is stunning: The mirrored reflection creates a mirage in the landscape, extending off into the infinity of the sky. The crowd was filled with younger folks, a fact made obvious by the less-than-crowded 21+ balcony over the overflowing grassy area. Maybe people just wanted to be close; or maybe, as a 17 year-old herself, Billie Eilish draws a crowd that deeply empathizes with her music.
Grappling with tough topics like self confidence and growing up in a weird, changing world, Billie Eilish provides the mantra and voice to a generation that is feeling the discomfort of growing into young adulthood. As someone that is rapidly moving out of that stage, being in the venue on June 4 brought a wave of nostalgia for those initial days of self exploration. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? shows off the musical production of a genius by using a mix of weird sounds and interesting lyrics. I’ve listened to the album over and over again, and every time I find something new to enjoy. With the references to The Office and the sarcastic tone of each song, Billie Eilish has created an interesting piece of art that brought out the devotion of everyone in the Salt Lake crowd that beautiful afternoon.