Glastonbury Festival: Headliner Billie Eilish addresses Roe vs Wade decision

BILLIE Eilish expressed her dismay at a ‘dark day for women in the United States’ during her historic set on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival last night.

Eilish, 20, whose performance saw her become the festival’s youngest solo headliner, addressed the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe vs Wade ruling which protects women’s rights abortion across the country for almost 50 years.

The move will likely result in abortion bans in about half of the states, including some with “trigger laws” that ceased to apply after yesterday’s Supreme Court verdict.

Her comments came before she performed “Your Power”, a song about her “concept” and the consequences of her abuse.

The global superstar was joined on stage by his “brother and best friend” Finneas O’Connell, his co-writer and co-producer who provides instrumental support at his concerts, and drummer Andrew Marshall.

She opened her set with “Bury A Friend”, a highlight of her set on The Other Stage in 2019 that took on new life under the intricate lighting and pyrotechnics of the Pyramid.

While Finneas remained on the upper level of the stage, a typically energetic Eilish – dressed in a graphic black and white outfit with striped cuffs – ran and danced through the vast space at her disposal.

She only spoke directly to the crowd a few times, the first after “Therefore I Am”, a single from her second UK number one album. Happier than ever.

The 20-year-old opened up about a range of social and environmental issues throughout her set. Photo: Tom Leaman

“There are so many of you, damn Jesus!” she exclaimed. “I love you guys so much. Are you ready to have some fun?”

The huge Worthy Farm gathering chanted her name and followed her with every command, shouting halfway through “You Should See Me in a Crown” and falling and bouncing during “Oxytocin.”

Eilish spoke of ‘protecting the planet and our people’ before singing ‘Everything I Wanted’, then sang about the fame that has engulfed her since her meteoric rise as a teenager in the vulnerable synth track ‘Getting Older’ (“Things I enjoyed just keep me employed now”).

Snippets of tracks Eilish released as a teenager, including “Ocean Eyes” and “Bellyache,” were warmly received ahead of the delicate piano ballad “When The Party’s Over.”

The penultimate song of his 90-minute set was 2019 hit “Bad Guy,” the inimitable dance-pop climax to his debut album. When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

His set was brought to an epic conclusion as the crowd sang the anthemic punk-rock style ending to “Happier Than Ever” under fireworks launched from the stage.

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Jan G. Gilbert