A city block worth of virginal lust and college dudes packed into North Park Observatory last week to fawn over their favorite Father, who performed back to back nights on his Pure Comedy tour.
Weyes Blood opened both shows with her gloomy folk songs, setting the mood with Adam’s Family set props, purple-lit fog, and haunted candelabras. She sang beautifully with a soft swaying touch, underlined by a feeling of impending doom. The perfect slow dance while you wait for the curtains to catch fire.
Misty came out with an incredibly tight six-piece band and together moved through the first 4 tracks of the new album, Pure Comedy. “The comedy of man starts like this…” may have been the first words he spoke, but the story arch of Father John Misty that night was performed in reserve.
If you’ve been following along since the beginning, you know the order of things: The fun fearing first full, the origin story; followed by the love songs of Honeybear; the third act of “we’re all fucked” Pure Comedy. We’ve seen at least 50 shades of Misty since he climbed out of that tree and as the night’s performance went on we a got sweet taste of each.
We got, “another white guy in 2017 who takes himself too seriously,” during the new songs. And the satirist during amazing renditions of “The Memo” and “Bored in the USA.”
Misty shared his humor and riffed with the crowd during, “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me.” He told us about his flu and how he didn’t want to be photographed while drinking hot tea, only to pose with two cups soon after. He held the tension with perfect sarcasm and released it right on time with sincerity, telling the crowd, “Fittingly, this song is about being totally imperfect and still being loved.”
He then moved on to “Only Son of a Ladies Man” and “When the God of Love Returns,” juggling myths and zig-zagging from where he’s been and where he is now. Despite the flu, he cut himself open and gave us his born-to-be-on-stage performance of “Honeybear.” When red lights washed over the stage he was handed an electric guitar for the first time of the night. The opening chords of “Hollywood Forever Sings” followed sent out a fever of its own.
Father John Misty is a layered figure. Bursting at his lanky seams with charm, snark, and the voice of an angel. Yet, after giving us one more song with, “I Went to the Store,” he waved goodbye as the sweet, humble guy he is.
As believable and entertaining as Father John Misty is, Josh Tillman took the final bow and gave us all a wink, letting us in on the secret that underneath it all, he’s still just a man having fun.