Wednesday 7 November 2018

On Stage: Father John Misty @ Paradiso

Father John Misty, moniker for Josh Tillman, seems to be able to write lush music with great ease. He keeps releasing wonderful music and I like his relaxed style of singing and playing. His combination of rootsy folk music and blues rock seems just right for me and he is one of the few folk musicians I really like. So I was very pleased he was going to visit my home town.

Father John Misty at Paradiso Amsterdam, November 5 2018

It's a sold out show at Paradiso tonight, although it looks like people aren't really packed together. This is a good thing since this place can get really full sometimes. Without a lot of fuzz Father John Misty enters the stage and starts playing. His backing band are behind him and will stay to the back for the rest of the night. Dressed in a white suit it is clear Father John Misty is the star of the night and all spotlights are on him.

He is focusing mostly on his last two albums Pure Comedy and God's Favorite Customer with some songs from his other two albums mixed in. He ignores his life before Father John Misty completely and doesn't play any song from the period he called himself J. Tillman. I'm not sure why that is and maybe there's no particular reason behind it, although his style was different back then. In the end there's plenty to enjoy from his four Father John Misty records.

In a relaxed fashion Misty is going through his music that feels a bit like a routine in the beginning. The melancholic songs sound great though and his voice is very good and clear. When he loses his acoustic guitar and starts moving across the stage things get more lively, going through his usual expressive gestures and poses, with little dances and twirls. He doesn't say much in between songs and is not wasting a lot of time. Ballads like 'Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution' and 'The Palace' are simply gorgeous and things get more intimate in these moments. He reminds me of a combination of Billy Joel and Elton John sometimes.

It becomes clear how good is music is when you hear all these songs. During the night you lose the feeling he is going through his routines and I get lost in the music. Before I know it he has left the stage and returns for a four song encore. He takes time for a little chat, kind of going through a comedy act that is both a bit awkward as funny. Then he finishes the night with the swinging 'Date Night' off his last album, showing he's definitely able to rock as well. Father John Misty proves he's quite a unique artist with a rare talent for brilliant songwriting.

All Pictures

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01. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
02. Mr. Tillman
03. Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All
04. Nancy From Now On
05. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
06. Total Entertainment Forever
07. Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution
08. Ballad of the Dying Man
09. I'm Writing a Novel
10. I Went to the Store One Day
11. Hangout at the Gallows
12. When the God of Love Returns There'll Be Hell to Pay
13. Please Don't Die
14. Real Love Baby
15. Pure Comedy
16. Holy Shit
17. The Palace
18. So I'm Growing Old on Magic Mountain
19. I Love You, Honeybear
20. Date Night

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