Billie Eilish Shows Why Livestreams Will Outlast COVID
Billie Eilish’s Saturday night “Where Do We Go? The Livestream” proved to be as much a showcase of the format as it was a COVID coming out party for the superstar.
After an hour-long pre-show, Eilish’s set was short and to the point. She shared new material and big hits supported by her brother Finneas and their longtime live drummer Andrew Marshall.
From her opening message in the chat, “Welcome to the show. Please be kind to each other. I love you” to a near the end declaration to “vote the Orange Man out,” Eilish showed ease as a performer almost unthinkable for an 18 year old. She repeatedly spoke to and interacted with her fans, including dozens that were preselected and projected in the studio.
Close up camera shots, beamed in fans, applause from the in-studio crew, and mostly Eilish herself gave livestream viewers an intimate experience that would have been impossible in her sold-out arena dates postponed by the pandemic.
That is not to imply that “Where Do We Go? The Livestream” didn’t also often deliver a big-production arena-like experience. Immersive lighting and effects from Montreal’s Moment Factory plus the groundbreaking XR (extended reality) tech of XR Studios placed Eilish underwater, up among the stars, and surrounded by a giant spider.
Silencing The Naysayers
That a livestream can simultaneously deliver an intimate experience with a superstar and a technically dazzling arena-like show should silence those who see live-streamed performances as a COVID only phenomena.
Billie Eilish didn’t pretend that her livestream offered a live concert and in doing so showcases the format and her own formidable talent brilliantly.