Live Review – Father John Misty at the Metro 19/2/13


Josh Tillman AKA Father John Misty took to the stage as a boxer does a ring, psyched and punching the air in his first of many piss-take gestures of the evening. He gripped the mic and announced “It’s awfully fucking close to boogie time”, to which the crowd went a little nutsoid.

In a thin pinstripe suit the colour of greying sand, he commenced the set with my favourite track from 2012’s Fear Fun, the opening song Fun Times in Babylon. Tillman is a remarkably good singer, which becomes all the more evident in his live show, so by the time the lyric rolled around Look out Hollywood, here I come, cat-calls rushed the stage, which seemed to just encourage him more.

Part crooner; part folk rocker, the charisma oozing from this tall bearded man silenced many a mouth that previously questioned ‘Why would he leave the Fleet Foxes?’ – as any clairvoyant worth their weight in crystal ball would have pegged him for a front man years ago.

He shakes pheromones from his booty with the booty facing the crowd, arms flung skyward. He talks of beautiful women and drinks red wine from the bottle, without missing a beat in Nancy From Now On. He dances somewhere on the border of intentional irony and a loss of inhibition – sometimes on the floor. Even Kurt-Cobain-looking bassist Jeffertiti standing next to him in floral leggings and gold glitter around the eyes barely tempts you to draw your eyes from Tillman.

Only Son of a Ladies Man and This is Sally Hatchet were highlight tracks, but all were leading to the crescendo that was Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings. Treating the audience to an extended middle eight section, where the drums and white lights flashing the stage gave extra effect to the psychedelic dancing happening within, where Josh shook his head and his arse and jumped about in apparent bliss, which matched the screaming frenzy of an enraptured audience.

The encore consisted of some friendly banter about the last time the band was in Sydney, where they sat around the Opera House grounds and made up multiple versus of a song called Sex Walk, some of which they re-enacted. They finished with a new song called Honey Bear, in which Tillman sung Love, you’re the one I wanna watch this ship go down with, and I couldn’t help but feel the rowdy audience in the Metro that night felt the same way about Mr Tillman. I know I did.

Words by Katie Mayors

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