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  • Hunter Smith

Billie Eilish’s Happier Than Ever World Tour: Worth the Hype?

On February 10th, 2022, Billie Eilish made a stop at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College as part of her Happier Than Ever World Tour. I luckily snagged a floor ticket with some of my friends, and it was my first time seeing Eilish live, so the hype was building every day leading up to the show. I didn’t have much of an idea for what to expect, as I hadn’t seen many of Eilish’s live performances. However, once she took the stage the room immediately came to life in a way I hadn’t anticipated.

Following the incredible intro, she started off her Happier Than Ever show with a song from her first album, which was an interesting choice (though it made sense as the song is a crowd pleaser.) One of the big things that I immediately noticed with this show is how big of a role the lighting played, as each song was accompanied with a matching light display that enhanced the mood and ambience in the room. One particular standout moment technologically from the show was when Billie soared over the arena on a machine that gave everyone an up-close look at the star.

In terms of how Eilish handled the stage, I was surprised to see how well she maneuvered through all the space on the stage with such ease. Thought it was only her on stage for the entire show (minus her brother on guitar and her drummer,) she commanded the room with her stage presence. Whether she was strutting down the walkway with a feather boa for “Billia Bossa Nova,” jumping around with the crowd on “bad guy,” or simply sitting on a stool with her guitar for “Male Fantasy,” Billie brought all sorts of different moods to the stage (and she nailed every single one.)

Another thing Billie excelled at during her show was her crowd management skills. After the tragic events at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival many artists are stepping their game up when it comes to dealing with the large crowds at their shows. Billie however, almost stopped the show two separate times to make sure people in the crowd were safe. She also took several pauses between songs where she’d tell everyone in the crowd to take a step back and give everyone some space, or to take deep breaths with her. It was easy to tell that she had an acute awareness of what was going on in the room at all times.

From the stunning light displays, to the epic bangers (such as her closing song, the title track from her second album,) to the more intimate moments (such as “Everybody Dies or “Your Power”,) Eilish excelled across the board. She delivered strong, clear vocals that you could hear over the loud production, and she worked every corner of the stage, driving the crowd into a frenzy at every chance. Overall, Billie Eilish knocked it out of the park, and it didn’t hurt that she held up a Penn State t-shirt and chanted, “WE ARE!”

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