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Concert Review: BěRNS at Electric Factory
by Barbara Shi

BØRNS is an indie-pop singer/songwriter originally from Michigan. His hit single “Electric Love” went platinum in 2017, and he’s been gaining publicity ever since. His music and voice are both in a way nostalgic, but also fit into modern pop music. BØRNS is very invested in androgynous and gender-bender fashion, sporting crop tops and nail polish in his early career. His debut album, Dopamine, came out in 2015, and his most recent album, Blue Madonna, came out while he was on tour in 2018.


My friends and I attended the BØRNS 2018 Tour at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, PA on February 17. There was actually a snow storm as we waited outside for the show, so it was such a relief when we finally got in the venue. I really liked the size of Electric Factory (fits around 3,000 max). As when we went into the standing area, there were really strong purple lights coming from the stage, which a lot of people in the crowd enjoyed for their pre-concert selfies.


Mikky Ekko and Charlotte Cardin were the openers for the show. They both had very different vibes, but definitely got the crowd excited for BØRNS. Mikky Ekko was super hyped up and went down into the crowd a bunch of times. He finished off his set with “Stay” by Rihanna, which he was featured on. Charlotte Cardin, a Canadian singer, was much more mellow and calm, but her lovely voice and personality charmed the audience.


After a little waiting following the openers, smoke filled the stage and everyone started cheering as BØRNS was about to come out. He started off with his single “God Save Our Young Blood” from his new album, a dreamy song that most of the crowd sang along to. He went on to play the rest of his album Blue Madonna with beautifully amazing, colorful lighting, and even took roses from the front row of the crowd and sang with them. I thought it was super nice that he took letters from the crowd, too, and dropped them all in a neat pile on the upper stage. My friend, who works in the music industry, was also really surprised that the majority of the musicians playing for him were women, and she said that was pretty uncommon, so that was really awesome!


The crowd was super chill overall, singing along and swaying, and when he was done singing the songs from his new album, we all screamed for an encore. A few minutes later, he comes out in an off-white suit and sings a duet with his opener, Charlotte Cardin, of “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles. It was a super sweet rendition, and Cardin’s voice complimented his beautifully. After that, he went on to sing a bunch of hits from his first album Dopamine, and that’s when I feel like the crowd truly came alive. Everyone was singing along, mesmerized by the lights, and just having a really great time.


Overall, it was a very relaxing concert that was aesthetically beautiful. It was really exciting to see an artist I’ve been listening to for ages, while also discovering cool new music from the two openers. BØRNS’s voice is infinitely more alluring live, and his lovely attitude towards the crowd set the tone for a really wholesome experience. It was also his final show for the tour, and he definitely poured his heart and soul into his final performance. After his recent collabs with Lana Del Rey and his partnership with Gucci, BØRNS is definitely growing in popularity with both music and fashion, and I can’t wait to see all the cool stuff he does in the future.