Concert Review: Father John Misty, February 18, Danforth Music Hall


Full disclosure: I am a Father John Misty fangirl and I don’t care who knows it. From the first time I saw him play Lee’s Palace in 2012 to his solo acoustic tour in 2013 where he performed early versions of songs from his recently-released I Love You, Honey Bear album, I’ve seen the guy four times and every single time has been fantastic. Wednesday night at Danforth Music Hall was my fifth time seeing him. In all my years of concert-going, it was the first time I’ve ever bought a priced-more-than-face-value ticket (I hesitate to say “scalped” since it wasn’t bought from an actual ‘professional’ scalper), because I wanted to attend the show so damn badly.

And I have zero regrets. The latest album is a beautiful masterpiece, I still listen to his debut (Fear Fun) often and I already know Josh Tillman is an excellent performer.

So yeah. There I was, at the very front, right side of the stage, breathlessly awaiting Tillman (and band) to grace Toronto with their presence.

Oh, the screams that emitted from the sold-out crowd when they emerged. The now-sober Tillman was in fine form, vocally and of course, at maintaining his charismatic and captivating stage persona. When not playing guitar, he’d strike mock-serious poses in between sassy hip-shaking, occasionally dropping to his knees dramatically or full-out lay down on the stage floor. They opened with title track, “I Love You, Honey Bear” and Tillman, fully aware of his heartthrob status, knelt several times (and during several other songs as well) and held the hand of a random audience member while singing. His sarcastic wit was on point as usual.

The set list consisted of all but one track from the new album (though understandably so – the intensely emotive “I Went To The Store One Day”), as well as Fear Fun cuts – “I’m Writing A Novel,” “Nancy From Now On,” “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” etc. Sometimes when you attend a show not long after a new album has been released, the audience doesn’t seem familiar with the new songs, but that didn’t seem to be the case at all with this show.

The set ended with the lyrically poignant “Holy Shit,” with an added cacophonic midsection à la the Beatles’ “A Day in the Life.”

The highlight of the three-song encore was a cover of Leonard Cohen’s (sexy as hell tune) “I’m Your Man.” Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I already knew that the band’s been playing this cover during this tour, so I was ready to film the entire song with my iPhone. Tillman, the ham that he is, noticed me filming and came over to serenade me for a portion of the song. Goodness. What more do I have to say? This show will forever be one of my favourites, for obvious reasons. Watch the video below.

Posted on by Wini Lo in Concerts