Billie Eilish and her older brother Finneas O’Connell may not be rock or country performers, yet they packed Summerfest’s American Family Insurance Amphitheater to capacity.
Finneas opened for his younger sister at the Big Gig’s largest venue on Saturday night. The singer-songwriter walked toward a single piano and began matching chord progressions to the ivory on “I’m in Love Without You.” The sibling of the superstar has his fair share of talent, crooning while gliding across the eighty-eight to “Claudia.”
The eldest sibling may play a role in Eilish’s music, but he was far from the main attraction. The audience would see Finneas again before his sister’s arrival, walking out to a dimly lit stage, guitar in hand, in an all black suit behind a standing keyboard.
Following visuals projected onto the curtains that mimicked The Nightmare Before Christmas, Eilish finally came out, smiling at screaming fans before jumping into “bad guy.” The single off her second and latest album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
At just 17-years-old, Eilish already has years of touring and performing in front of exceptionally large crowds under her belt. The experience was on display as she came out in a baggy lime green shirt and capris covered in logos of her own brand.
Keeping the energy going, Eilish worked her way around stage to “my strange addiction.” The strong cut off the new album was produced by Finneas, more than likely named after the TLC documentary series that focuses on unique compulsive behaviors.
Eilish is a skilled songwriter as well, using grammar as a metaphor to her personal life. “To be talking to you, belladonna. Shoulda taken a break, not an Oxford comma.” The young superstar is conveying she should have stopped to take a full break, instead of adding another thing to her hypothetical list.
The Los Angeles native drew back from bouncing around stage for a few moments as she focused on her second verse under looming red stage lights. “Deadly fever, please don’t ever break. Be my reliever ‘cause I don’t self medicate.” Eilish is staunchly against drug use, unlike some around her age in the entertainment industry. Judging by the genuine smile and happiness Eilish performed with, the cliché of being high on life might apply to the alt-pop performer.
Later, Eilish performed the bass boosted “you should see me in a crown.” The first verse alludes to her breakout hit, “Ocean Eyes.” The metaphors Eilish chants are meant to signify she sees herself as powerful. “Cold in my kingdom size, fell for these ocean eyes.”
Inspired by an episode of the BBC television show Sherlock, Eilish takes the concept of being royalty and turns it into a dark parade. She broke out into choreographed dance for a brief moment during an instrumental break.
After repeating the haunting chorus once again, Eilish jumped around from the speakers overlooking her strafing security and out toward the expanded amphitheater crowd, waving like a queen who just had a crown placed on her head.
After Eilish concluded early, music lovers swung by as Rhymesayers Entertainment Group group took over the Miller Lite Oasis stage Saturday night, featuring seven of their artists.
Opening acts from Niki Jean, DJ Abilities and Sa-Roc, deM atlaS took the stage with an American flag draped over his head. As the crowd began to fill in, the Minnesota native brought a high-energy set, jumping around the stage as he performed.
Following deM atlaS was Evidence. One third of the highly regarded underground hip-hop group, Dilated Peoples, Evidence proved his experience in the rap game with a polished set. Last year, Evidence released his third studio album, “Whether or Not,” which covers many personal topics, including his son’s birth and his wife’s battle with breast cancer.
Following Evidence was Madison-born rapper, Brother Ali. Born with albinism, Ali’s music often encourages self-love and accepting oneself. The crowd was treated to some of Ali’s biggest hits, such as “Forest Whitaker” and “Self Taught.”
To close the night out at the Miller Lite Oasis was two of the founders of Rhymesayers, Slug and Ant of Atmosphere. Atmosphere drew from their extensive discography, which dates back to 1997.
Throughout their performance, each song was met with a roar from the crowd, proof of devotion from the fans that this group has accumulated over the years. For fans of hip-hop, one would be hard pressed to leave wanting more after witnessing the party that Rhymesayer Entertainment brought to Summerfest.