Billie Eilish duetted With Damon Albarn, gave Beyonce a shout out and more during her historic Coachella 2022 headlining set.
The last time Coachella happened, in 2019, Billie Eilish had just released her historic debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? — and celebrated with her first-ever Coachella performance. Everyone showed up for that early evening slot on the Outdoor stage — from Zane Lowe and James Corden to Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom.
Fast forward to day two of Coachella 2022 (Saturday, April 16) and Eilish made her return to the desert — only this time she was there to headline, becoming the youngest artist to do so in Coachella’s history. For the occasion, the superstar took a break from her current arena trek in support of her second album, last year’s Happier Than Ever. While the staging and much of the setlist remained the same, one surprise in particular proved this show was far from just another tour stop.
Eilish first appeared at the end of the stage’s runway in a comically oversized coat, which she quickly shook off with a small laugh. She then subtly nodded to the last time she dazzled the desert by performing “Bury a Friend,” letting the final line (and debut album title) ring out across the field with a victorious undertone – as if in the years since releasing the album Eilish finally found the answer to the question she once posed.
If you’re Eilish, when you’re asleep your dreams take you to new heights — and in the case of Coachella, that can be said literally. At one point, Eilish hovered over the crowd in a mobile crane, wanting to make sure there was, essentially, no bad “seat” in the “house.” Throughout the set, she wove in and out of hits off her two albums with the skill set of a seasoned seamstress (There were two omissions, however: the Bond theme “No Time To Die” she and Finneas just won their first Oscar for and the acclaimed 4*Town hit “Nobody Like You,” which she and her brother wrote for the Disney/Pixar film Turning Red). And while Eilish flaunted her flexibility on harder-hitting songs (at one point she folded into an especially impressive backbend), she shone brightest during the sets more tender moments, like “”Idontwannabeyouanymore,” “when the party’s over” and “Your Power,” which she and FINNEAS performed acoustically side by side on stools.
It appeared, however, that on Coachella’s main stage Eilish herself was still learning just how much power she has — and how to best channel it into a performance of this size. For those who have seen Eilish on tour this year, her Coachella set may have felt like a repeat (minus the few audio issues and field lights frequently turning on). Yet, she did make sure to include one thing no one had yet seen from her so far: A live duet with Damon Albarn.