PHOTOS: Billie Eilish wide awake at Bill Graham Civic tour opener

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Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish performs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on May 29, 2019. Photos: Joaquin Cabello.

SAN FRANCISCO — For Billie Eilish, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium seemed to be the ideal place to start the North American leg of her “When We All Fall Asleep” tour.

For the 17-year-old Los Angeles artist, each song was a swing of emotions for her to interpret. Each one was not circumscribed within a style or genre but under the line of her feathery vocals with deep and pasty bass lines. Eilish opened with three cuts from her latest album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

“Bad Guy,” which has a fast and catchy rhythm that contrasted with the more poppy sounds of “My Strange Addiction.” “You Should See Me in a Crown” had an up-and-down rhythm.

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish performs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on May 29, 2019.

Billie Eilish changed the tone of the show immediately when she introduced “idontwannabeyouanymore,” from her 2017 EP, dont smile at me. The song had a much calmer mood and minimalistic beat, with an accompanying piano. She also kept it light with “&burn.” On the following “Copycat,” she asked everyone to jump like a kangaroo during the chorus.

The set continued with “When I Was Older,” a single inspired by Alfonso Cuaron’s film, “Roma,” and “wish you were gay,” a slow-burner that intensified but always returned to a point of musical intimacy. The same was the case on “xanny,” another cut from the new album.



Showing that same calm throughout her show but with a deep shaking lo-fi bass, Eilish continued with “all the good girls go to hell.” “Ilomilo” had a more electronic vibe, with a synth that resembled a child’s xylophone, and was followed by the poppy ”bellyache,” off 2017’s dont smile at me. Then she switched to the intimate, quiet, ”listen before I go,” accompanied only by a piano.

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish performs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on May 29, 2019.

Billie Eilish sat on a bed that was then elevated during “i love you.” She explained that how she wrote the song with her brother.

“We wrote this song in a bed like this,” she said.

The last part of the show was the most intimate. On ”ocean eyes” she showed that despite her age, she is a very complete artist who is very clear about what she wants to show. Eilish followed this with ”when the party’s over” and the gothic “bury a friend.”



Denzel Curry

Denzel Curry performs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on May 29, 2019.

Florida rapper Denzel Curry opened the show with a set of chaotic lo-fi trap music. Curry provoked commotion in the audience to the rhythm of his beats and continuous jumping on the stage.

He opened with “ZUU,” off 2019’s album of the same name; “Ultimate,” from 2015’s 32 Zel and “SWITCH IT UP | ZW1TCH 1T UP,” from 2018’s TA13OO. He also included some covers like Flying Lotus’ ”Black Balloons Reprise” and Rage Against the Machine’s ”Bulls on Parade.”

Curry went not only into the hardest rap rhythms but also the most melodic lines, to finally end his set with TA13OO cuts with triplet beats and lo-fi sounds, such as “VENGEANCE | VENGEANCE,” “PERCS | PERCZ” and “SUMO | ZUMO.”

Follow photographer Joaquin Cabello at Instagram.com/joaquinxcabello

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