19-year-old superstar leaves Vegas crowd ‘Happier Than Ever’
By Jason Latham
For all the talk about how today’s consumers demand “authenticity” and “connection” all those other marketing buzzwords, the truth is always the same: people want to get their money’s worth.
That’s why the one thing the 2021 Life Is Beautiful Music and Art Festival needed to get right was its final act, and, spoiler alert, it did. When reigning queen of music (and Met Gala fashion) Billie Eilish stepped onto the Downtown Stage – in a puff of smoke, kind of like a magic act — to close out the three-day festival, the 19-year-old wunderkind found herself immersed in the adoration of a crowd that had, at last, gotten what they’d paid for, and it was worth the wait.
If you’ve ever done all three days of Life Is Beautiful you know how exhausting it can be waiting for that final act. All of that fatigue, however, simply washed away when Eilish came out. She did her thing for nearly 90 minutes, going through all of the hits, including the newly-minted ones from this year’s Happier Ever After and her title track to next month’s James Bond feature No Time to Die.
It wasn’t a rush job, either. Some artists, aware of the crowd and tired themselves, might skip a few classics, shorten songs, or do a medley in order to speed things up. Eilish took her time – fans would have given her another 90 minutes if she needed it – and paused in between tracks to make chit-chat with the crowd. At one point she even alerted security to someone that had fainted.
You see that? Billie Eilish saves lives, just like that kid doctor from the old TV show.
Did you catch the part in A$AP Rocky’s set where he showered love on girlfriend Rihanna from the Bacardi Stage? If you were at Billie Eilish, you didn’t. That’s the hardest part about Life Is Beautiful. It’s not the crowds or the heat (which, fortunately, wasn’t intense this year) or your sore feet; it’s having to make a Sophie’s Choice about which set to see and which one you’ll have to pretend isn’t happening at the same time so you’re not paralyzed with FOMO.
Because if we could have Sunday, we would have seen them all: Gorgon City, SHAED, Young Thug, St. Vincent, FISHER, surf mesa, Key N Krates – the list is just too long, so everyone that we missed needs to come back again next year.
Aspiring singer Musco “King Kell” Adams has an impressive story. The Starbucks barista from North Carolina has seen his life turned around since being discovered and given a platform to perform. Adams performed covers of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” along with an original song recorded with Aloe Blacc, at the festival.