After a whole day of anticipation at Fashion Meets Music Festival, seeing bands I only knew one or two songs from, Garrett Borns (AKA BØRNS) took the stage.
There were very few of us lined up against or near the barricade, which was how the entire festival seemed, but this meant the audience was up close and personal to this whimsical powerhouse.
The set kicked off with one of my personal favorites, “Seeing Stars” from the BØRNS EP, Candy. Between Borns himself and his band, the energy was all there.
Continuing on with tracks from the debut album Dopamine, he walked around the stage with a huge focus on his impeccable voice. I’m not alone in admitting when I first heard Borns, I thought he was a woman.
His falsetto is beautiful, and the tone of his voice gives a darker sound … reminding me of Lorde. That exact sound is delivered even more clearly and strongly when performing live, so while you’re dancing along, you still have to step back and think, “wow.”
BØRNS is marketed as a solo project, but the band was top notch. As he introduced the band, he mentioned that his drummer was from Ohio. As she gave the traditional “O-H-I-O” that we so love here in Columbus.
At one point, Borns wore a crowd member’s pair of sunglasses and thanked a girl in the audience for the jacket he was wearing. The man looks straight off a Gucci ad in the September issue of Vogue.
Tucked in the middle of the set was a jazzy cover of “Bennie and the Jets” that featured a lot of crowd interaction and a fantastic keyboard feature.
BØRNS’ original songs “Past Lives” and “American Money” got a lot of love from the crowd, reminding me how subtly brilliant “Past Lives” is. Although it’s a track I haven’t given a lot of love to in the past, I had it stuck in my head for hours afterwards.
The romantic, Lana Del Rey style of the track “American Money” came off as a little underwhelming, with a feeling of empty musicality with Borns choosing the lower octave for the chorus.
As expected (by most of us), “Electric Love” closed out the festival set as Borns played a guitar and the crowd screamed along.
I bought my Fashion Meets Music ticket based solely on the fact that BØRNS was on the lineup, and I definitely feel like I got my money’s worth. His tour cycle for Dopamine is wrapping up, as it came out in the fall of last year, but hopefully there are new magical, sparkly, indie pop tracks on the horizon.