WILLOW IN CONCERT featuring Travis Barker and Avril Lavigne—watch
Watch WILLOW, Barker and Lavigne take the stage together for the first time to perform "G R O W."July 19, 2021
WILLOW performed a special virtual concert to celebrate the release of her fifth album, lately I feel EVERYTHING. The show was available live July 16 by using the Watch Together feature on Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Now, you can view WILLOW’s first performances of songs from the album here on Facebook Watch.
The performance was one of the most standout examples of WILLOW’s journey into her pop–punk roots. Wearing black nail polish, plaid ties and leather boots with lots of buckles, she headbanged across four stages. The four elaborate sets include an underpass, a garage, a locker room and an all-black room.
Little details like graffiti on the concrete underpass and an old couch in the dingy garage made these sets into “miniature [worlds], where everything looks real but you know it’s fake,” as WILLOW described them during a behind-the-scenes clip.
Avril Lavigne and blink-182’s Travis Barker both made appearances during the virtual concert. Lavigne joined WILLOW onstage for the first time during their performance of “G R O W.” Barker also joined WILLOW and Lavigne to command the drums on “G R O W,” as well as on the opening performance of “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l.”
WILLOW spoke about how grateful she was for the opportunity to work with Lavigne, one of her childhood inspirations, during a behind-the-scenes segment of the video.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to be able to really do this to the fullest and be able to connect with people who can inspire me and teach me,” WILLOW says. “And she’s just one of those people. And I’m just so grateful we got to meet.”
The performances were interlaced between insightful clips of WILLOW and her team explaining everything from the set design to the deeply emotional inspirations behind lately I feel EVERYTHING.
“During the quarantine and during the pandemic, so much was happening, and nothing was certain. Everything was precarious and up in the air,” WILLOW explains. “I was chanting every day, I was working out.[And] I was getting into my heightened spiritual state. But then there would be moments where I would see what was happening in the world and be completely depressed and angry and the opposite of what I was striving to create during that time. I was like, ‘This doesn’t really make any sense. This is everything. This is all things.’
“It just felt like I was going through so many emotions at the time and listening to so many different kinds of music,” she continues. And I just felt like they all coexisted in a really beautiful way. And I wanted to have an album title that expressed that feeling. So, it was really just everything. Lately, I feel everything.”
WILLOW also played hits from other eras, such as “Meet Me At Our Spot,” a collaboration with Tyler Cole released under the name THE ANXIETY. She also performed “Wait A Minute!” Notably, WILLOW shaved her head during a performance of “Whip My Hair,” a song she has historically had a complicated relationship with. In an interview with Alternative Press, WILLOW talked about coming to terms with that phase of her career.
“I spent so many of my teenage years just being angsty and depressed and being like, ‘I hate that song [“Whip My Hair”],’” WILLOW says. “I thought I hated that era, hated everything about it. But I realized as I grew up, I’m still saying the same shit. I’m still telling women and people of all colors to stand up for their truth and to take that leap to truly know themselves and to be honest with themselves.
“I feel like that song was just a different version of that same message,” WILLOW continues. “And when I realized that, I realized there’s no reason to be upset. I was preaching some real stuff, and I should be proud of that. Taking back that ownership and that feeling of power and that feeling of just like, ‘I did that…’ I should carry that with me in my life as a badge of compassion and be in service to more people who were inspired by that.”