Billie Eilish | photo by Emily DeHart for WXPN
Billie Eilish and Denzel Curry horrify The Met
Honestly, you can’t get a better pairing than Billie Eilish and Denzel Curry. These two rookies are on completely different sides of the musical spectrum, but balanced each other out on Saturday at The Met. When I heard that they were performing together, I was taken aback because Billie’s fanbase generally requires a chaperone to attend the show, while Denzel’s blown-out, punkish, nihilistic style is definitely not parent-approved.
It was unfortunate that a majority of the kids there either had no idea who Denzel Curry was…or knew him from the music app Tiktok as “the guy who sings the bottle flipping song,” referring to his 2015 track “Ultimate.” Regardless, Curry still gave an unapologetic rage-filled performance that had all the mothers gasping. The South Florida rapper entered the stage howling tracks from his newly-released masterpiece ZUU, getting the crowd rowdy as he performed “RICKY,” “SPEEDBOAT” and “SHAKE 88”. The crowd was blown away by the tremendous amount of energy exerted from Curry’s fierce spirit and his neon everything outfit.
Curry was well aware of Billie’s young fanbase and decided to address it by giving a few words to the moms in the back, saying “I’m vulgar and I’m passionate” and then went right into “SUMO”, a track off of his album TABOO. I couldn’t describe to you the number of mothers who were just mortified by his comment while their youngsters had a nice ole’ laugh. He continued with “SIRENS” and “PERCS” then took the audience into his circus of horrors with “CLOUT COBAIN.” The twenty-four-year-old kept the energy tight as he signed off with a tribute to the late XXXTentacion and his well-known track “Ultimate.”
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By comparison, Billie Eilish’s performance was something out of a twisted, Tim Burton-themed nightmare. The show began with a well-crafted animation of a character that resembled the young artist. She was lying in a bed while spiders trickled on top of her. The background noise intensified and all the kids started getting restless waiting for the arrival of their demonic idol. Billie slowly entered the darkness and ripped into one of her mega hits “Bad Guy”. The Met was literally shaken up by the sea of strong dedicated Eilish fans with smartphones glued to their hands. I could feel the top floor shaking too, wondering if the floor was about the cave in. The show had finally begun and no one was ready for what was in store, not even me.
She was joined on stage by a two-piece band with her brother Finneas and drummer Andrew Marshall, both dressed in all white. Her minimalist set up was intended to put more focus on the horror-filled effects in the back as well as her, who was decked out in all red. Every track had a different animation and each one got more terrifying as the show went on. She performed tracks from her spring-released When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?; an album with multiple song ranking on the charts including “My Strange Addiction”, which covered the room in a blood red.
Next was the distorting vortex of “You Should See Me In A Crown” that summoned a cluster of spiders to the screen. I felt so uneasy. One of my favorite tracks from her 2017 EP doesn’t smile at me “idontwannabeyourmore” followed, showcasing a beautiful collection of marvel sculptures on the screen, which began to disintegrate into skeletons….spooookyy. The dark yet beautiful display of visuals warped you into this dream-like state. Transitioning into “Watch” brought soothing hypnotic flames to the audiences’ eyes. The trance-like state was soon abrupted by a Slenderman-inspired crimson forest with silhouetted figures with piercing blue eyes during “COPYCAT.” As you blinked, the dark figures multiplied, inching closer. I got pretty scared. It felt like I was hallucinating for a moment.
She later went into an array of ethereal ballads including “wish you were gay,” the anti-drug track “xanax,” and “listen before i go.” At this point, the energy started to dim. What else was Billie going to do? When you thought that it couldn’t get any better, an actual bed lowered from the ceiling. Finneas and Billie sat onto the full-sized bed to perform “I Love You” with just an acoustic guitar as they both appear to float away into the clouds. Both artists have proved that they have so much talent — especially Finneas, who I believe does not get enough credit. He produces, co-writes, and plays a majority of the instruments for all of Billie’s music. To end the show, Billie gave the audience three of her most popular songs “ocean eyes”, “when the party’s over” and the infamous “bury a friend” to end the horrifically brilliant night filled with all sorts of emotions.