Saturday, October 12, 2013

Play, Father John Misty, for Us

Father John Misty
Father John Misty is no Nancy:
He can take a lickin' by a projectile CD
(Flying Burritos Brother tribute
band demo???) and keep on playin'.
It was an enthusiastic sing-along crowd at First Avenue (albeit a bit talky even during numbers--hate that) this evening. Josh Tillman (aka Father John Misty) was engaged and engaging and clearly appreciative of the crowd response, despite

1) joking about people wasting the "present" experience taking pictures (Hey! I resemble that remark) and even putting a person-sized, standup smartphone cutout in front of himself to make his point;

2) noting he'd been through town a gazillion times already recently; and

3) somebody hitting him on the head with a demo disk. A guy threw it towards stage; it ricocheted off a light and actually wacked Tillman on the forehead.

Tillman just asked if anybody happened to catch it on their phone, since "what were the odds that would happen?" But, dude, you convinced us to put our cameras away; so nope--no replay of THAT present of a moment for you....

Father John MistyTillman's stage presence is thankfully lighter, funnier, and more playful than I expected, based on perhaps media-amplified bad boy reputation. While I can appreciate his 3-5 minutes doses of quirky (and even dark) sensuality (or I wouldn't have bothered to go at all), a brooding Heathcliff on stage would wear thin pretty quickly. Tillman played a few new songs, including one about his recent marriage, that the crowd did not know. But he was accompanied by the crowd on just about everything else. They even earned his praise ("very nice, very pretty") on more than one occasion when they rather than he led on vocals.

The concert suffered by comparison to my recent Billy Bragg experience, but really it's unfair to expect anybody to meet that high a standard. Tillman's was a solid performance and I'm glad I caught it. Jesus Christ, girl--you can't really ask for more than that.

Father John Misty
The glass and bottle sat their all evening.
Father John Misty
And then he just poured it all out,
overflowing the glass, and left it there.

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