Billie Eilish’s “1 By 1” tour was set to kick off October 23rd in Portland, Oregon, but with every single date selling out weeks before it was slated to commence, the start of the tour was moved a couple days earlier to make room for two additional California dates. It was then no surprise to the announcement that both the new Oakland and Sacramento stops also sold out in no time.
As I stood off to the side near a row of chairs waiting for the show to start, the area quickly turned into the chaperone zone. In a short documentary (see below), Billie talks about how music was consistently at the center for her family while growing up. I think that she would be pleased to hear that her stop at the Fox Theater in Oakland brought together quite a number of families through her music. Though the fans lining the front row of the barricade seemed to be close in age to the 16-year-old singer, the venue was full of people of all ages.
Continuing with the theme of music bringing families together, Billie’s brother, Finneas, opened up the evening’s show with his solo act. The front row seemed just as familiar with the songs that Finneas brought life to as they would be later on that night with Billie’s words. Any chance to make it to the front of the floor disappeared with the end of the set, since the venue was packed to the brim by the time Finneas left the stage.
Check out the just-released “When The Party’s Over” video from Billie, shot in Korea.
Next up was Childish Major, who has quickly been making a name for himself as a rapper on top of being a producer. Following Finneas’ more mellow performance, Childish Major delivered a lively set that truly got the crowd fired up. From songs like “NoEyeInTeam” to “Know Nothing,” the crowd was roaring and was appropriately warmed up during the set.
Finally, the main event. Billie Eilish was up. A giant spider-shaped set was revealed as the drummer and guitarist/keyboardist took their places on stage underneath the arches of the long, glowing legs. As the first notes of “My Boy” came over the speakers, Billie rose out from behind the spider eyes and dove into the song with an explosive energy that she would maintain for the entire show. It might be easy to marvel at the traction she has gained by such a young age, but with a stage presence that showcases a level of confidence that stands equal to more seasoned performers, it's no surprise that her talent is standing out from the crowd.
Part way through the set, she introduced the artists sharing the stage with her that evening with drummer Andrew sitting on her left and brother Finneas on guitar/keyboard on her right. Billie danced across the stage with endless energy for the hour-long set and was even joined by Finneas a number of times at the front for a couple of choreographed moments.
Billie teams up with rapper Khalid on this “Lovely” music video.
Billie checked in with the crowd a number of times throughout the show and even encouraged people on the floor to take a giant step back so that the front could be given a little bit more air. My only note is that I would encourage her to tell the crowd throughout the rest of the tour to put their phones down and just experience the show rather than watching it through mobile screens. I was astounded by the number of phones that were being held above the crowd.
When “Bellyache” came to a close, she thanked the audience for coming out and headed off stage. But no one budged an inch, we all knew that there was more to come as the “Billie, Billie” chant began. She skipped back onto the stage and dove into an emotional encore, debuting a new song dedicated to a close friend who she noted had always been there for her but recently passed, followed by “Ocean Eyes” and “Copycat.”
After experiencing the incredible show that came to Oakland, this is the point that I would recommend that you to check out one of the remaining dates, but due to the unique fact that the entirety of the tour had sold out before it even started, you’ve missed your chance for this one. Don’t worry, I’m sure with the success that this tour is seeing, it won’t be long until another run is announced and she’s back dazzling audiences on the road again.
Here’s that mini-documentary we mentioned earlier, titled “Up Next.”