Father John Misty. Webster Hall. NY, USA. Concert Review

by Sunny Eckerle

Webster Hall was packed tight on Monday night when Joshua Tillman took the stage, already having effortlessly slipped on his alter-ago. Father John Misty is, in every sense, a performer and performance.

Anyone familiar with his recordings as J Tillman can appreciate the radical and stark evolution he has made as the Father John Misty character. While I appreciate the sad, beautiful side he’s previously showcased, I do have to say that Father John Misty leaves the forlorn sadness behind in favor of a good time.

Simple watching him on stage is an experience all it's own.  He writhes and wiggles, gives the crowd the thumbs up and waggles his finger, physically acting out his lyrics as they tumble forth. 

His voice never wavered as he moved through some 11 songs, smooth and enticing as ever. In between songs he had a great rapport with the audience, regaling everyone with tales of how he recently plowed face first into the drum set in Ohio, resulting in a post-show trip to the ER or an eye-opening parable about cupcakes and life. 

He saved Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings for the end, of course. The song built into an extended, epic finale. He returned for an encore, opting for covers of Nevertheless, I'm in Love with You and On the Road Again, but after the rousing Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, those fell flat for me.

On his Father John Misty person, Tillman says "It's all of me and none of me, if you can't see that, you won't get it." I, for one, feel like I got it loud and clear.

  Set List

    Opening Guest: Magic Trick (aka Tim Cohen of Fresh & Onlys).

  1. Funtimes in Babylon 
    Only Son of the Ladiesman 
  2. Nancy From Now On 
  3. I'm Writing a Novel 
  4. Misty's Nightmares 1 & 2 
  5. This is Sally Hatchet 
  6. Well, You Can Do It Without Me 
  7. Now I'm Learning to Love the War 
  8. Tee Pees 1-12 
  9. Everyman Needs a Companion 
  10. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings 

  Encore: Nevertheless, I'm in Love with You (Dean Martin cover), On the Road Again