Billie Eilish brings Barbie track to life during cathartic headline set

LEEDS-Billie Eilish brought Barbie to life at Leeds Festival on Friday night, performing her latest celluloid hit in the middle of a cathartic and career-spanning set. It saw her become the event’s youngest solo headliner, surpassing London rapper Dave from last year. At the age of 21, Eilish, who also has a hit Bond song under her belt has now headlined both of the UK’s biggest festivals, following her headline slot at Glastonbury last year. This latest set was one for the ages. Backed by her brother and producer Finneas on keys and guitars, Eilish bursts out on stage in a baggy LA sports outfit and woolly hat combo, bouncing and bounding her way through the opening strains of Bury a Friend. Cue screams and then fire. “You feel good England?” she asks with a smile. “Are you ready to have some fun?” Duh! Since last performing here as a teenager four years ago, Eilish has gone on to pop megastardom and it shows. Swaggering, running and at-times sliding and humping down the runway, she conducts the adoring crowd at will. A sea of camera phones capture her performing one of her earlier songs, idontwannabeyouanymore. Eilish has spoken recently about feeling most at home channelling what she says is her more powerful, masculine side and she clearly revels in the role on her darker, more upbeat and playful material from her 2019 debut album, When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go? On a chilly Yorkshire summer evening, she leads fans in an early set warm-up exercise of sorts, that involves jumping around, stretching and screaming.

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