The L.A.-based pop star from Grand Haven unleashed an epic set at the Lansing festival, which also featured Kip Moore, Hunter Hayes, Judah & The Lion and The Aces. Review and photos at Local Spins.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTO GALLERY, SET LIST
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Anyone in the audience Thursday could easily tell Borns was enjoying performing back in his home state.
There were a few signs. The first was after playing “Holy Ghost” from his 2015 album, “Dopamine,” when he asked the usual question — in the most calm and beckoning voice possible after such a high-energy song — “How are we feeling tonight?”
The hyped-up crowd for opening night of the Common Ground Music Festival in Lansing screamed in excitement. Borns smiled as he swept the microphone stand toward him and ever so angelically responded: “The feeling is mutual.”
Another sign came when a girl in the front row presented Borns a portrait of himself “Past Lives.”
Mostly it was clear just how comfortable and confident the 26-year-old Grand Haven native and international pop star appeared on stage delivering an hour-and-15-minute set that was as effortless as it was intense. It was Borns’ first outdoor performance in Michigan this year but his second concert overall after playing a sold-out show at Grand Rapids’ 20 Monroe Live in January on the first leg of the tour behind his latest album, “Blue Madonna.”
Borns’ appearance at Common Ground was nothing short of epic, from the way he carried himself on stage to his incredibly crafted set list to his interactions with fans, who interacted with each other — all contributing to the impeccable and infectious energy that fell over Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing after he took to the stage at 10:45 p.m on the dot. (Borns, aka Garrett Borns, follows up his Lansing show with a concert Saturday in Minneapolis then plays Chicago’s mammoth Lollapalooza festival on Aug. 3.)
Conveniently, a cool breeze — in what was a hot, muggy evening — settled in just as Borns began his set.
HOT WEATHER, HOT LINEUP
Those flocking to Common Ground’s opening day after gates opened at 4 p.m. had endured temps reaching 94 degrees, and due to construction on the street where the general entrance was originally planned, and had to walk an extra several minutes in the heat and humidity to reach the relocated entrance.
“It’s really inconvenient because it was a further distance from most of the parking garages, but the walk was worth it because even the first day of this festival had a great lineup and headlining acts,” said festival attendee Olivia Brock, of Byron Center.
It was the 17-year-old’s second Borns concert after catching his 20 Monroe Live appearance earlier this year and was most excited to hear music from his “Blue Madonna” album.
That “great lineup” Thursday featured country artists Kip Moore, Hunter Hayes, Cale Dodds and Michigan’s own Shelby Ann-Marie on the larger Auto Value Stage, with pop/rock acts Borns, Judah & The Lion, The Aces and Vesperteen on the Sparrow Stage.
The Aces, an all-female group from Provo, Utah, played a 45-minute set of music from their album, “When My Heart Felt Volcanic,” released in April.
After The Aces’ high-energy, hair-whipping performance, the Nashville-based band Judah & The Lion hit the stage, mixing Americana, bluegrass, folk and hip hop — all within the first five songs. A special cover that the band only plays in Michigan, their rendition of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, helped entrance the crowd for the rest of the band’s set.
Borns, by the way, will be back in the Great Lakes State on Oct. 1, when he plays the Royal Oak Music Theater in Royal Oak.
Common Ground Music Festival continues Friday with Halsey, Jessie Reyez, Juliana Hale and Smino on Friday; Logic, NF, DJ Kool and Tone-Loc on Saturday; and finally, T-Pain, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Gucci Mane and Kevin Gates on Sunday. Get the full schedule and tickets online at commongroundfest.com.
PHOTO GALLERY: Common Ground Opening Day
Kip Moore, Borns, Hunter Hayes, Judah & the Lion, The Aces
Photos by Anthony Norkus
SET LIST: Borns at Common Ground
2. Holy Ghost
3. God Save Our Young Blood
4. American Money
5. Dug My Heart
6. 10,000 Emerald Pools
8. Past Lives
10. We Don’t Care
11. Seeing Stars
14. Faded Heart
16. Sweet Dreams
17. Electric Love
Copyright 2018, Spins on Music LLC