BØRNS at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
September 26, 2018 | By Katherine Villa, Photos by Sophie Cannon
Photos by Sophie Cannon
It was a rainy night in Boston on Sept. 25 as Garrett Clark Borns, better known as BØRNS, was gearing up for what would be a thundering performance at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in the Seaport District. Wearing a dash of silver eyeshadow, Borns appeared from backstage wearing Nike head to toe — a red, white, and blue tracksuit, red tank top, black joggers, and Nike sneakers to top it off. He wasted no time, diving right into his first song of the night, the incredibly sensual “Past Lives,” as the audience swayed and sang along.
A few days prior to the show, the singer was accused of sexual misconduct — allegations that arose on Twitter in the form of screenshots of Instagram messages and personal accounts — and the day of the show he turned to social media, posting a single statement on a white background to his Instagram. “I am both hurt and angered over the disturbing and false allegations that have been spread over the past few days on social media,” read the post, “All of the relationships I have had were legal and consensual. They ended abruptly and that obviously caused hurt feelings, but for anyone to suggest anything beyond that is irresponsible.” After addressing the issue, the singer made no further comments, nor did he mention it during the Boston performance. Despite this, fans showed up in droves to attend the show, filling up the outdoor venue and screaming his praises before, during and after his set.
The singer took the stage, showcasing an array of tracks from across his discography. The show began with “Past Lives,” and quickly after came “Holy Ghost,” from his older album, “Dopamine.” Next were “Faded Heart,” “I Don’t Want U Back,” and “Supernatural,” all performed one after the other — the stage going completely black for less than a minute before the next song began. Throughout the show, the singer’s energy rose, propelling into tracks off his most recent album, “Blue Madonna.” His vocals rang throughout the pavillion as he took a seat at the piano for a soulful performance of “Bye-bye Darling,” followed by a unique rendition of “Bennie and the Jets” by Elton John.
Keeping fans engaged, the performer moved from each corner of the stage throughout the entirety of the show, constantly surrounded by a flush of colorful lighting. Towards the end of the show, he placed a fan-gifted flower crown atop his head and wished the audience “Sweet Dreams,” followed by a second upbeat rendition of the song and a dramatic exit. Fans shouted for an encore until he reappeared, this time for a brief performance of “Tension,” after which he took to the floor, running through the crowds of people until he reached a different stage near the back of the venue to conclude the show with the fan-favorite song, “Electric Love.”
With similar energy, opening act George Lewis Jr., known as Twin Shadow performed an exhilarating, yet soothing mixture of keyboard melody and synth wave pop. He recalled having moved to Boston at the age of 17 saying, “I’ve been arrested twice here, so I feel like the real deal.” With his unique voice and bountiful hair, the singer filled the stage with his dance moves and vigor, aspects that would be seen throughout the entirety of his set and the main show.