If it was necessary to describe BØRNS’s show last night at the Gothic Theatre in just three words, they would be "best-case scenario."
At the first of two back-to-back sold-out shows in Denver, BØRNS put on a performance that rivaled the energy of a Super Bowl halftime show. But the concert was free of theatrics, and the vitality came entirely from frontman Garrett Borns’s effortless charisma, incendiary wailing and commitment to his audience.
The petite singer personifies every element of a demigod frontman. From his low-cut jeans to his wild hair and gentle smile, he is the picture of a rock icon. There’s something slightly adorable and magnetic about him, and his lyrics reflect a knack for capturing the consuming happiness of early love. Reminiscent of Mark Bolan or Robert Plant, he is undeniably captivating and seductive.
The distorted chords of “Seeing Stars” set off the show with an undulating choral celebration. The crowd, which sang along to every word, was audible over BØRNS’s high-pitched vocals; though BØRNS is a new artist, this was the type of satisfying unanimous participation often only achieved by acts with decades-long fan followings.
One highlight was when Borns donned a white electric guitar for the underwater love song "10,000 Emerald Pools" from the Candy EP, and proved himself as a solid multi-instrumentalist. On one of the most anthemic tracks from his Dopamine album, "The Emotion," the singer's intense crooning turned the audience into a mass of awe-stricken devotees. The power of BØRNS's falsetto is provocative and emotional.
Following the beautifully blasphemous “Holy Ghost," BØRNS performed a solo, stripped-down “Clouds” on electric guitar, accomplishing a lullaby-like hush. The simple rendition captured the song's dreamlike sensuality.
As the opening keys of "Electric Love" filled the theater, BØRNS coyly asked the audience, "Shall we have a sing-along?" which ignited shrill screams and laughter, followed by hymn-like accord. By then, the audience at the Gothic had become a choir, easing into a remarkably in-tune rendition of BØRNS's biggest hit.
After a set that meandered through every song on Dopamine, it was a puzzle as to what BØRNS would perform for an encore. When he returned to the stage, the beginning chords of David Bowie's "Heroes" floated over the audience. The cover was a fitting end to the evening, a satisfying conclusion to an overwhelmingly positive story.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.