Live Review: BØRNS - Scala, London 15/11/2017
Tonight is the night, the long awaited return of Børns on UK soil and it certainly lived up to all expectations.
The psychedelic pop star from Michigan kicked of the first date of his European tour at London's Scala. The sold out venue was the perfect setting for Garrett Børns, the lighting was on point and the acoustics were some of the best I've heard and the 1000 strong crowd were hanging on every note.
The band took to the stage in the usual subdued light, until out the shadows the instantly recognisable tall, slender long haired hearthrob approaches the mic stand, the lights come up and the screamin starts! Launching straight into a favourite of mine; “Past Lives”, the crowd, and myself included, start singing along word for word. “Sometimes the dreamers finally wake up / Don't wake me I'm not dreaming”. Followed by “Faded Heart”, the music is pure retro 70's style electro pop, created to get your head in the clouds and I bloody love it!
The latest album from Børns entiled “Dopamine” is bursting with references to love, and it is hard to resist Garretts front man charms as he serenades the female strong crowd while casually caresing and dancing with the microphone stand. Dressed in a more reserved but equally fitting grey toned suit, minus a shirt, and envious manicured nails, he let his ethereal but powerful vocals take center stage throughout the night.
“10,000 Emerald Pools” got the crowd at their most vocal, “All I need is you / You're all I need to breath” erupted in unison with Garrett. It's a track full of catchy and memorable lines and lingering notes that you could mistake as those of a Siren's alluring call. The albums title track “Dopamine” followed and the crowd went from all singing to all dancing, reminiscent to tracks by MGMT, it's a song that just gets everyone moving with a prominent bass line and simple drum beats, it's a song that is meant to get everyone waving their hands in the air and swaying those hips.
The final few songs of the night took what was already a very strong and enjoyable set list and just smashed it! Scala's 4 tier balcony setting meant that the Garretts vocals during “The Emotion” reverberated around the entire building. It was just pure heaven, stripped back and raw with the crowd once again singing every word back to him; “The emotion is building up inside of me / And what you're looking for is suddenly out of reach”. Every note is perfect and piercing, it's one of those moments when the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, pure pop ballad bliss.
“Electric Love” was the track before the encore, and being the most popular track in their catlouge it was no suprise that the room errupted again, people were on shoulders and Garrett was smiling all the way through and really embracing the crowd interaction. There is a quiet accapella moment in the track which is an open invitation for the crowd to click along before Garrett takes hold of his baby pink Fender guitar while conducting the crowd into more sing along glory “Baby you're like lightning in a bottle / I can't let you go now that I got it / All I need is to be struck by your electric love” . Garrett's face just beems with joy as there is nothing but pure love and happiness in the room. As he leaves the stage for a brief encore, the room typically erupts with chants of “One more song! One more song!”
Garrett walks back out on stage and he apologises to the crowd... it turns out he didn't wish us “Sweet Dreams”, there are more cheers as he starts to play his latest single to the audience. It's a befitting song to end the night; “Consider this a lullaby” he sings. It's a smooth and dreamy track that feels like you are flying through the stars.
Børns is a natural born performer and he just left the crowd in a state of euphoria after gracefully bringing us all back down to earth but reeling for more. He now continues the tour across Europe and hopefully he returns back to these shores soon as we are now hooked on his Electric Love.
Review and Photography by Rachel Prew