Photos and Review By: Amanda Martinek
Have you ever seen God?
What about white Jesus? Did he effortlessly float around stage, wearing nut-hugging jeans, a paisley scarf and shirt that showed off his pasty belly button? Did he moon walk in his dancing shoes? Did he flip his hands and head and beard aimlessly around like a flower child on acid? Maybe your Father didn’t do this, but mine did. His name is Father John Misty, and his performance was life altering.
Coming straight from a stint at the great gig in the desert, FJM graced San Diego with a stop Tuesday night of #NoChella at The Observatory in North Park. King Tuff, a gritty garage band originally hailing from Vermont and currently riding the Burger Records coat tail popularity, opened the show very early to a dismally sized crowd. Those in attendance luckily got to catch a few tracks off their 2009 debut Was Dead and last year’s Black Moon Spell.
Anticipation built as the house lights went black and a red light district glow took over the stage. A giant neon sign reading “No Photography” surrounded by a heart flickered on, as band members sauntered on stage. Father John followed last and kicked off the show with the first and title track off his newest album I Love You, Honeybear.
The crowd went nuts, as tanked bros, bearded bros, sensitive bros, manly bros, Coachella bros, Nochella bros, and every bro in between, sung along lyric by lyric to all of Misty’s tunes, as their #whitegirlproblem girlfriends sexily swayed along to the baby making folksy tunes. Father John stayed focused, only stopping to say hello after wow-ing the sold out crowd with five numbers. The first semi-awkward lull brought the usual “I love you!” from an anonymous voice, to which Misty responded, “I love you too. From the bottom of my cold dead heart.”
Playing songs from both his newest album and 2012 debut Fear Fun, Father John was completely mesmerizing. With both serious conviction and sarcastic humor in his eyes, he brought everyone along for the ride without letting anybody fully fall into the deep dark pit of his mind. Halfway through the set, he lamented for a tad about Coachella, joking that there was probably a Goldenvoice sniper in the crowd waiting for him to say something negative. “It was like if a rich teenager had a hippie-themed sweet sixteen party. But all the dads stuck around,” he joked, adding, “They should really just take the music part out and let people wander around the field on ecstasy. It would be the same conversation. ‘What band did you see? Oh, me neither.’”
Things started winding down, and Misty was quick to comment. “Have we become too cynical about encores as a generation? Yes? Well we’re not gonna fix anything tonight. I’m going to play one more song, walk away, you’ll cheer, and I’ll play a few more. And you’re going to love it.”
And we did. Ending with an amazing performance of the satirical “Bored in the U.S.A” and a hypnotizing Leonard Cohen cover, that was it. Father John Misty, we are forever you’re loyal followers. Amen.