At His Dallas Debut at Club Dada Last Night, Borns Proved His Remarkable Voice To Be The Real Deal.
There's a great bit in David Spade's 1998 HBO special, Take The Hit, where the comedian rails against the trivialities of attending a live concert.
He calls out bands for always saving their hits for last, ridicules acts who choose to insert local references into their performances and lambasts the disaffected fronts that are so often put on by performers. The crux of his point? That a good concert isn't necessarily too difficult a thing to pull off; problem is, most bands just get in their own way.
As Spade sees it, though, there's only one thing a performer really needs to do when playing his or her music live: “Make it sound like it does on the record — no tricks!”
Spade surely would've enjoyed himself at Club Dada last night. There, out on the venue's back patio and in front of a sold-out crowd, fast-rising (and commercially viable!) electro-pop performer Borns sounded just like he does on record. And that's no small feat, either: Following the release of his “10,000 Emerald Pools” single in October 2014, the Michigander (whose debut LP for for Interscope is still a week off from its release) has earned himself an audience on the strength of undeniable hooks, earworm melodies and, most of all, an alluringly high vocal pitch that's so well-controlled, it sounds as if it's the product of some crack studio wiz.
Alas, at this show, Borns proved that remarkable vocal ability to be all his own, indeed. And, really, that confirmation alone was worth the effort of seeing this performance. On the surface, Borns is what Borns is — just the latest indie pop act in a long line of indie pop acts who've burst out the gate with a couple damn-catchy singles. But where Borns, abetted on this night by four backing players, sets himself apart is with the clear vocal talent he boasts. Other up-and-coming acts of this ilk might rely on a certain bombast to carry its early touring shows; with Borns, there's no such need. In other words: Last night's performance, as antics go at least, was a fairly timid, inoffensive one.
But when everyone's just marveling at your voice, you really don't need any other tricks.