Last October electropop chanteuse Billie Eilish played an alarmingly packed show upstairs at World Café Live, selling out the 200-capacity months in advance. For the next leg of her Don’t Smile at Me Tour she was booked at the 600-capacity Coda… Well, her booking agent is obviously still a little out of touch with the popularity the 16-year-old postmodern songwriter has accumulated… Once again, Ms. Eilish sold out the venue several months in advance and, even after the show had to be rescheduled due to our most recent snowstorm, the EDM (or White DJ, which I find far more accurate) club was likely more packed this past Sunday, March 25th, for Billie Eilish than it has been since Stevie Wonder made a surprise appearance there last year in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The venue’s floor turned out a massive teenage fist-pumping party, while said fist-pumpers’ parents remained largely in the venue’s rear outskirts, with the balcony containing about two rows of post-fist-pumping twentysomethings, who are totally over doing shows sober. And although still cramped, the dance club proved to be far more in-line with Billie’s teen-angsty, androgynous, hip-hop-inspired swagger than the seated, dinner theater setup of WCL. The hour-long set contained all eight tracks from Eilish’s debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me, in addition to singles like “bored,” and “six feet under,” and covers of Finneas’ “NEW GIRL” and Drake’s “Hotline Bling.”
Although each song was met with an equally maniacal wave of cheers, making it hard to decipher crowd favorites, Billie Eilish could be argued to be at her best when she’s at her most somber and sincere, on numbers like “idontwannabeyouanymore,” and “watch.” But it would be far easier to argue that, regardless of the sentiments she might appeal to in her like-minded, and largely-like-aged, fans, this will be the last time the Billie Eilish finds herself in a 600-capacity venue in Philadelphia for quite some time and that, even if she does next find herself in the 1,300-capacity Union Transfer, I would not recommend sitting on tickets.