BØRNS shares Page spotlight with student artists Thursday

Although major concerts are not normally held on campus in February, Thursday’s performer may not need a special reason to show up.

Indie pop artist BØRNS will perform in Page Auditorium this Thursday at 7 p.m., following opening Small Town Records acts Kollin Baer and Mobius, in a concert sponsored by Duke University Union. Garrett Borns, born in Michigan, goes by the stage name BØRNS. After moving from New York City to Los Angeles in 2013, he wrote his debut single, “10,000 Emerald Pools,” which was released in 2014 along with his EP “Candy.” In 2015, Borns’ song “Electric Love” became an instant hit, propelling Borns himself to fame. Borns’ full-length album “Dopamine” was released Oct. 16 last year.

BØRNS has toured with Misterwives—who performed at the Last Day of Classes concert in 2015—Charli XCX and Bleachers. He has also performed at Lollapalooza and is included in the line-up for Coachella in 2016.The singer is starting a European tour right after his Duke show, premiering in Glasgow, U.K. Feb. 19.

DUU’s Campus Concerts committee has a habit of looking for artists before they become famous. The committee booked BØRNS before he was featured in several commercials and released on major music festival lineups, bringing him to a higher level of prominence ahead of Thursday’s show.

“We are very excited to bring something new and fresh to campus as we were able to for Heatwave,” said senior Tyler Lawrence, chair of DUU’s Campus Concerts committee, in an email.

The BØRNS concert differs from typical DUU concerts in both location and artistic style. BØRNS is the first DUU-sponsored musical artist to perform in Page Auditorium since 2014 when the building went under construction.

BØRNS also stands out in terms of sound. His electro-pop, dreamy, slightly folksy sound differs from the sounds of most artists that the Campus Concerts committee has brought to Duke recently. Past artists sponsored by Campus Concerts have included Vanessa Carlton for Old Duke and New Politics for Heatwave.

DUU consulted with senior Dylan Gleit, chair of DUU’s Small Town Records committee, to select which of the record label’s artists would open for BØRNS and were most suited to the environment DUU was trying to create for the show. Kollin Baer and Mobius were ultimately picked to perform.

Mobius was formed during the first semester of the members’ freshman year at Duke. The band is self-described as a “progressive/funk/dance rock quartet” and consists of vocalist Wyatt Smith, guitarist Gleit, bassist Mike DeVito and drummer Henry Sosa, all seniors. The band released a debut EP in 2013 entitled “One Hit Wonder.”

Kollin Baer, a senior, will be opening with an acoustic set. Baer, who has more of a folk sound, plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, bass and drums.

“With this show, we’re really bringing a lot of different aspects of our musical services together,” said DUU president Pranava Raparla, a senior.

Most DUU concerts are hosted outside and can hold a large number of students, setting the Thursday performance apart as a rare indoor show. Raparla estimated that last September’s Heatwave concert attracted around 2,000 Duke students, but Page holds just under 1,200.

“It will be a very different vibe to have something inside and see what type of Duke student that attracts and also how that enhances the musical element as well, because Page has better acoustics than what you usually hear outside,” Raparla said.

DUU has hosted a number of successful non-musical performances in the auditorium so far this year, booking personalities like Jenna Marbles and Saturday Night Live’s Pete Davidson.

For the rest of the academic year, DUU’s Campus Concerts will be planning and organizing the Kryzyewskiville concert in March and Old Duke in April.

The BØRNS concert was moved to early February instead of late Fall so it would not have to compete with other musical performances on campus for attention and attendance.

“We wanted to continue to provide programming for students throughout the academic year rather than just at the beginning and end,” Lawrence said.

The BØRNS concert will take place this Thursday at 7 p.m. in Page Auditorium. Tickets are $5.


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