by Colin Roedel
Michigan native Garrett Borns, professionally known as BØRNS, returned to his home state to perform at the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Monday night. The crowd, mostly teens and young adults, listened to opening act Twin Shadow patiently before the indie-rock artist to step on stage. When he did, BØRNS revealed that evenings outfit of choice was a pink vintage pantsuit, reminiscent of the 70’s culture he emulates.
BØRNS entered from behind the stage, opening with “Past Lives,” while walking down a set of bedazzled stairs. He immediately grabbed the mic stand and started to engage with fans. In the front row, eager teenagers screamed while reaching out over the barrier for a chance to grab his hand. His funky dance moves were oddly fitting with his retro persona.
The nonstop show included BØRNS playing both guitar and piano, and several times he was dancing on the bedazzled grand piano. About halfway through his set, he performed a cover of “Benny and The Jets” by Elton John. It seemed appropriate considering Sir Elton was likely part of the inspiration for the flamboyant fashion. The overall color palate of the performance can only be described as “Cotton Candy”. The blue and pink lighting fit perfectly with BØRNS aesthetic, but it made it difficult to see him at times.
It was a very upbeat show, with some slower moments in the middle of the set which allowed many in the crowd to hit the bathrooms or bar. After performing 18 songs, BØRNS returned for an encore featuring a mashup of his song “Tension” and a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”. He, of course, ended the show with his hit song “Electric Love” and the crowd went berserk.
I Don’t Want You Back
We Don’t Care
Bye Bye Darling
Bennie And The Jets