BØRNS had added a third show in Los Angeles after his shows at the Viaduct and Moroccan Lounge, and this last one was free. Needless to say that the line outside Bardot on Monday night was unbelievable, it was stretching around the block at 6: 30 pm whereas BØRNS was supposed to come on stage at 10 pm! It was another edition of It’s a School Night, the weekly event showcasing indie artists at Bardot, a cool little nightclub across the street of the Capitol Records building. Bardot is a tiny place, I read somewhere that 500 people can fit in, but since there are 3 different spaces connected, not all these people can have a good view of the small stage, may be 200 can… In any case I managed to get inside Bardot on Monday night and even get a not-so bad view of the magnificent and dreamy Garrett Borns, making a lot of people envious stuck on the sidewalk outside.
BØRNS has only released an album so far, ‘Dopamine’ which peaked in #2 position in the US alt and rock charts and basically he has been a sensation since, with numerous apparitions in multiple festivals and TV shows. Two years ago I saw him playing one of Santa Monica’s Twilight concerts and the girls could not contain their enthusiasm for this long-hair-open-shirt guy, who looked like an angelic apparition in the cool marine fog.
It wasn’t very different this time, and I must admit that being in the presence of BØRNS is a very special treat, he is cursed by an undeniable beauty, he looks delicate and feminine, and talks with a frail voice, which was reminding me of Michael Jackson’s. His aura is that of a star, with a second aureole of mystery and that’s a too rare thing these days to not be noted. Showing up in a dressing gown, the type of thing Prince would wear, revealing an impeccable hair-free torso, it was a vision which immediately triggered a million of loud screams from the 200 women around me. He obviously cultivates his heartthrob image but appears very shy on stage with a somewhat weak voice, backed up by all the fans singing along his hits, building a choir which was often covering his voice,… at least from my perspective and I was standing three rows from him.
But there are the songs, the tunes with hooks so candied in sweetness that they melted on the tongues of all the people singing along. ‘Past Lives’ is one of these, and I soon got an urgent desire to tell to these people to shut up, I hadn’t waited 3 hours on line to listen to a choir of fans, I wanted to hear BØRNS’ voice, if it ever existed! At this point, it’s still very ghost-like. The fans never shut up, not even during the new song ‘Faded Heart’, a sensual number with a retro doo-wop 60s heart and yes another expansive hook, which proves that BØRNS has more in store for his upcoming album.
‘There are two types of songs’, BØRNS told us to explain he had new ones we didn’t know, and he performed the new and unreleased ‘I Don’t Want You Back’, a slow R&B-inspired electro dreamy whisper which was probably the only moment when the choir got mute… However, the ahhh-ahhh-ahhhs of the carolers got even stronger during ‘American Money’ and ‘10,000 Emerald Pools’, two huge hit songs, and I realized I would never be able to really hear his voice, since I was fighting against a wave of adoration too strong to die.
If not all songs had these massive pop hooks, they all transformed into lighter-holding moments, if people were still doing that at concerts, while BORNS (sang) all the songs of his ‘Dopamine’ album, softly speaking between them with his MJ voice. There wasn’t a moment he didn’t look handsome, especially when he was holding the mic in one hand, tilting his head with abandon or looking at us from below, with a stare half intense, half vulnerable. Yeap, girls and boys were under the spell, despite a minimum of moves, zero stage antics on this minuscule stage, and a dreamy voice that I was still barely perceiving. BØRNS is a star, but a star was already born a long time ago, as soon as people heard ‘Electric Love’, a highlight of the night which should have come with balloons and confetti if the place had been bigger. But the only presence of BØRNS in his gown was enough magic to fill a crowded room of devoted fans.
I Don’t Want You Back
10K Emerald Pools
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – June 1975 (Volume 7, Number 1)
Smith’s final freelance contribution to Creem.
putting Nigeria on the map
back at # 1 for a third non consecutive week
not a dreamer but a steely eyed businessman and pop musician
Willie Nelson will play at the Palomino fest on Saturday
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1975 (Volume 6, Number 12
Elton John came across as completely engaging
by episode nine, season four, the bastards finally got me sick of Kate!
some hooky and wildly inspired tune
Harry has the summer of his career!