Even COVID-19 can’t stop NPR’s series of Tiny Desk Concerts, which has previously featured Yo-Yo Ma, Adele, Wilco, The Pixies, and many, many other talented musicians. As NPR explains below, the performance involved a little bit of technology and some magic. Enjoy:
It didn’t take long for Billie Eilish to become one of the biggest pop stars in the world, sweep the Grammy Awards’ major categories and release the latest James Bond theme. And today, at just 18, she and her brother, Finneas, have accomplished what no one has been able to do for five and a half months: perform a Tiny Desk concert in what certainly appears to be the NPR Music offices.
Of course, due to safety concerns, even the NPR Music staff can’t set foot in the building that houses Bob Boilen’s desk. But if you look over Eilish’s shoulder, there’s no mistaking the signs that she’s appearing at the Tiny Desk in its present-day form: On the last day before staff began working from home, I took home the Green Bay Packers helmet that sat on the top shelf — the one Harry Styles had signed a few weeks earlier — for safe keeping. In this performance, that spot is empty.
So how the heck did they do it?
Honestly, it’s best that you watch the whole video to experience the extent of the technical feat — which, in the spirit of Eilish’s Saturday Night Live performance, they’re willing to share with you. And thankfully, we still have our ways of photographing the desk, even if the room has fallen silent.
So settle in for a welcome jolt of Tiny Desk innovation, not to mention two of the excellent standalone singles Billie Eilish has released in the past year: “my future” and “everything i wanted.” And, seriously, be sure to watch until the very end.
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