Bill Eilish She made history not only as the youngest person to take the main stage at England’s Glastonbury Festival on Friday night, she was the first ever born in the 2000s. (Her 21st birthday is this December 18, if you’re thinking of giving her something to give.) And if the guard noted in their glowing review of the gig, she’s the first “kind of pop star that tweenage girls scream at” to headline the event that debuted way back in 1970.
But some of that was overshadowed by news of the US Supreme Court’s 1973 decision. to undo Roe v. Wade decision, leaving the autonomy of the female body in the hands of more and more reactionary state legislators, unprotected by federal law. The message reached the UK around 6pm local time.
From the primary Pyramid Stage, Eilish introduced her song “Your Power” with a sombre prologue: “Today is a really dark day for women in the US and I’m just going to say that because I can’t think of it any longer right now. This song is dedicated to that, I think,” she said.
Phoebe Bridgers, who previously performed on the John Peel Stage, was a bit more blunt. “Who wants to say ‘Fuck the Supreme Court’?” she reportedly asked the crowd. She also noted that while the festival was “super surreal and fun”, she also had “the most crappy day”. Bridgers, who has talked about having an abortion in the past, concluded by saying, “Fuck that shit. Fuck America and all those irrelevant old bastards trying to tell us what to do with our goddamn bodies. Damn it.”
Also, Joe Talbot of the band Idles said the decision took the United States “back to the Stone Age” during his time on the festival’s “Other” Stage.
Eilish was, in the words of the guard‘s music critic, “appealingly confident” during the show, with infectious enthusiasm. She went to the Pyramid Stage after performances by Sam Fender† Robert Plant and Alison KraussWolf Alice, Busy House, Rufus Wainwrightand Ziggy Marley†
Saturday night Sir Paul McCartney has the prime slot, and Kendrick Lamar follows on Sunday. (You can check out the whole mammoth schedule here and figure out how you’d plan your weekend. Sunday has a real difficulty: catch the scorching hot British saxophonist Nubia Garcia or living legend Diana Ross† There can’t be two places at once!)
Speak with NME prior to the performance, Eilish gave a typically honest look at what it’s like to be next to Lamar and McCartney: “It’s crazy.” She added: ‘I remember Kendrick being the headliner of a festival I went to when I was 14, and I couldn’t believe he was headlining this little festival because he was so big. And now I’m headlining the same festival as he and Paul McCartney…are you kidding me?”
Eilish continued: “It was the Beatles who raised me. I owe 95 percent of my love for music to the Beatles and Paul. It’s insane to think about.”
Real headlines already knew that the first song Eilish learned was “I Will” by The Beatles White Album, one of Paul’s songs. She also covered George Harrison’s “Something” and, with her brother, Finneas O’Connellperformed Paul’s “Yesterday” at the 2020 Oscars.