It’s a rare and beautiful thing to find an artist who sounds better live than on an album, but BØRNS effortlessly showed off his ability to do so.
Ready Room, St. Louis
The Ready Room was packed on the night of June 10 as BØRNS played to a sold-out audience. The crowd was mashed together, everyone sticky with sweat but buzzing with anticipation as they waited for BØRNS to take the stage. Questions of “What will he wear?” and “What song will he cover for his encore?” were asked as the excitement grew.
Soon enough, the lights dimmed and the first notes of “Seeing Stars” played over the speakers. BØRNS strutted across the stage with his perfected swagger, taking a swig from a red Solo cup and smirking in a way that was made endearing by his boyish charm. He was joined by his band, including Misty Boyce, who has impressive accolades. Boyce has toured with various chart-topping artists in the past, such as Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles. Throughout the concert, BØRNS and Boyce played off of each other’s energy, singing to one another and even dancing flirtatiously. The crowd ate up every moment the pair served.
By the second song, “Dopamine,” the crowd was pumping their fists, singing along with each lyric, and holding every note. The Ready Room held so much energy and I drowned in the music and light and pulse of the crowd. BØRNS held the microphone out to the audience throughout his set, encouraging them to be as immersed in the music as possible. Flashing pink, blue, and green lights illuminated his long, wavy locks; he looked like he was born to be on that stage (no pun intended).
BØRNS knew he had the crowd wrapped around his finger and he was not shy when it came to getting them rowdy. As people cheered, he performed a semi-strip tease, removing his leather jacket to reveal a Star Wars crop top that only he could pull off. He gave the audience exactly what they wanted, whether it was touching their outstretched hands or jamming on his guitar.
When an artist’s most popular track gets nearer on the set list, I always worry that it will be the point in the concert where I’m disappointed. I don’t ever want to hear a track that’s constantly played on the radio and have it be a letdown when I hear it in person. Fortunately for me, BØRNS did not disappoint at all. His live performance of “Electric Love” proved his voice is powerful enough to transcend the studio editing of his recorded music. It’s a rare and beautiful thing to find an artist who sounds better live than on an album, but BØRNS effortlessly showed off his ability to do so.
BØRNS wrapped up his set by coming back to the stage for his encore. Lately he’s been playing a cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” and I was sad he chose not to play that in St. Louis. The rest of the audience didn’t seem to mind since they danced enthusiastically and sang along with his cover of “Bennie and the Jets.” In typical BØRNS fashion, he ended the night by reaching out to the many hands of screaming girls before dancing his way off stage. | Kayley Withers