There are few people who put on more of a show than Father John Misty. This isn’t about those people. This is about Father John Misty.
The towering and suited gentleman that is Josh Tillman filled the Paramount Theatre on April 6th. He destroyed the crowd in the best way possible.
Opening the show was the virtually unknown Tess and Dave, who had an adorable onstage demeanor. The pair came out with choreographed dance moves and sweet duets, which were almost sweet enough to give you a cavity, but maybe that’s just me. I learned later that Dave was in Father John Misty’s full band, so the opening slot made much more sense.
That was just the beginning of the evening. The crowd was treated by Father John Misty to a 16-song set, and an epic 3-song encore that was almost more than I bargained for.
It was a perfect variety of songs from Fear Fun and I Love You, Honeybear. Though there was a noticeable lack of Father John Misty’s usual snarky banter, the night was not short in shenanigans. During a drawn-out master jam version of “Holy Shit,” starting out with the simple acoustic arrangement heard on the record, but just before the conclusion where Tillman croons several “ohhh ohh” over and over, the band busted out this psychedelic breakdown while Tillman, writhing on the floor, seemed possessed by some entity – possibly the ghost of Jim Morrison.
Then some crazy drunk guy jumped on stage, like drunk people so often do.
Now back to that encore. It read as a story all its own – opening with “I Went to the Store One Day,” naturally. Then Tillman prefaced the next song with: “This is the most beautiful song ever written. . . about going down on someone.” Excuse me what, sir? And at first I didn’t know the cover. I had never heard it. So I Googled the lyrics, and lo and behold, it was “Kiss It Better” off Rihanna’s Anti album. It was surprisingly awesome.
To conclude the show – this is where the crowd got destroyed – Father John Misty lost his ever-loving mind during “The Ideal Husband.” Screaming into the mic, kneeling before the crowd, he beckoned whatever love they hadn’t already given him.
If you haven’t seen his live show, look up the performance he did on Jimmy Kimmel Live – it’s a good gauge of the madness that went down at the Paramount. It’s hard to believe that Father John Misty started out his career as a drummer, because it almost seems like he was fated to be a front man.