“It was my favorite show I’d ever done,” she told the crowd on Friday night (September 24th) as she headlined Day 1 of Gov Ball, which has relocated to Citi Field from Randall’s Island, “And this might be that the second time.”
A Billie Eilish show in 2021 is certainly a marquee event, and last night’s crowd knew that very well — thousands of fans showed up to cheer on one of the biggest stars in the world and experience live music again. Regardless of where you were situated in the crowd, you could physically hear the army of fans singing Eilish’s words back to her, almost louder than she even expected.
Oftentimes when artists bring out their new material to shows, the reception isn’t as enthusiastic as the old hits. And while everyone on the lot was pumped to dance along to “bad guy” and potentially cry along to “when the party’s over,” it was Eilish’s Happier Than Ever cuts that garnered some of the biggest reactions and performances throughout the night.
Clear highlights were the title track, which was saved for the set’s closer and which brought a bombastic sense of catharsis to the evening. Elsewhere, the club-ready “oxytocin” and “NDA” showed off Eilish’s experimental side well. With only 75 minutes to show New York City what they had been missing for a couple of years, Eilish chose the material that was going to speak the loudest to the fans.
Unfortunately, loudness was a bit hard to come by during the headlining set. As Eilish took the mainstage and summoned the cries of hundreds, it grew difficult to hear her voice against the masses screaming in front of her. Certain songs seemed to avoid this problem — ”when the party’s over” featured a magical and inspired vocal performance from Eilish, who brought equal parts patience and tenacity to lift the song to an anthemic point.