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Father John Misty Returns to the Fillmore

Father John Misty Returns to the Fillmore

Flying under the radar as one of today’s most skilled songwriters and performers, Father John Misty dominates when it comes to justifying the persona of his satiristic music and inner ego. Joshua Tillman, the mastermind behind his alias, Father John Misty, and former member of indie folk band, Fleet Foxes, played The Fillmore Wednesday night as a part of his tour in support of his album God’s Favorite Customer. Hilarious just as he is talented, Misty’s music and humor does have an acquired taste. If you catch on to his witty comments and sarcastic outlook in both his lyrics and speech, you’ll find how funny the man really is. Whether it’s onstage or in real life, covering Ryan Adams (covering Taylor Swift) in the style of The Velvet Underground, completely trolling press in interviews, or spontaneous rants and singling out fans at concerts, Misty is mysteriously unpredictable. Whether you know him from Fleet Foxes, his solo work as J. Tillman, or his current project, Father John Misty, one will be sure to fulfill to your liking.

He’s the king of ballads, amazing at drums, has super smooth dance moves, and overall a cool, cool guy. Misty’s ability to have fans experience self discovery and leave with a new perspective within his hour and thirty minute set is truly baffling and something you must experience to believe.

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Opening the night was King Tuff, also a member of Sub Pop records like Misty and alter ego’s were a recurring trend for the night as Tuff is otherwise known as Kyle Thomas.

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King Tuff describes his music as retro pop. A perfect mix of rock and indie, the Vermont musician had fans hooked within the first song, including myself.

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Releasing his first album Was Dead in 2008, and later joining Sub Pop in 2012 after the release of his single “Wild Desire” Tuff recently revitalized himself. Making an effort to create music that he could play as well solo as he could with a full band, King Tuff self produced The Other and released it April of this year.  

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Beginning with the title track off The Other,King Tuff slowly began the night. Melancholy guitar and piano sank in as he sombered around stage. Picking it up with “Raindrop Blue”, Tuff woke up the Fillmore.

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Wearing his iconic bedazzled cap, a zig zag suit with all different hues of red, rounded sunglasses, and sparkly boots, Tuff had the rockstar look down.

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Not having heard of Tuff’s music prior to the show, I was impressed with his work and enjoyed the set. Ending on “No Man’s Land”, King Tuff left acquiring many new fans. Given a generous setlist with ten songs, he was given just the right amount of time to win fans over.

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Since it had been two years since Misty had played Charlotte, most fans had yet to hear his God’s Favorite Customer content. Written during a six week period when he was living in a hotel, the album greatly reflects the loneliness he experience. In previous years the artist struggled with drugs and alcohol abuse as well as depression. God’s Favorite Customer although more poppy and mainstream, instrumentally, than Pure Comedy, includes the same lyrical thought and intellectual outlook.

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Opening with “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”, Misty walked onstage in a white suit while lights flashed blood red shadows and he sang confidently to the crowd about making love in a cemetery. As the first words he spoke walking on stage were “Jesus Christ, girl”, the moment was undeniably Misty. Then diving straight into his second song on God’s Favorite Customer, one of many songs Misty has written about himself, the musician whistled and hummed to the tune of “Mr. Tillman” in a foggy state of mind, reliving his repetitive encounters in a gloomy hotel. The hauntingly upbeat piano and faint tambourine added to the songs mysterious live aura.

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Five songs in, Misty strummed his guitar once and qued “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)”. As one of his biggest hits with over 35 million streams on Spotify, every voice in the Fillmore was singing along. A true love song, Tillman swoons over his wife, idolizing her and their strange but perfect relationship. Singing of all the things they bond over, like the things they hate and satanic Christmas Eves.

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The first time Father John Misty spoke to the audience, was to mention that the band was down a man. After many shocked faces from the crowd, he quickly elaborated saying “Don’t worry! He didn’t die, he’s having a baby”. He then proceeded to tell the crowd that the baby boy was named Irvin and he and his band were dedicating the set to him. Misty said: “I’m sure Irvin would be proud to know that old Uncle Jerry played a sardonic folk song in his honor”. Going off on a small tangent, he also mentioned that instead of Joshua, he had almost been named Irvin Conrad Tillman III. “You guys can call me Irv, it’s no more preposterous than my stage name currently”.

Misty’s setlist was put together extremely well. He sang songs off all four albums and had an equal amount of upbeat jams as he did slower ballads. It was obvious that someone had put in consideration when choosing the songs. As all the hits like “I Love You, Honeybear” and “Real Love Baby” were played, he also sang lesser know songs like “When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay” and “Holy Shit” that were, in my opinion, even better live.

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My favorite moment of the night was when Misty serenaded the crowd singing “God’s Favorite Customer”. As he sat down at the piano, bright white light beams shimmered, spinning as Misty pleaded for the angels to speak to him. Reflecting on his past beliefs as he used to be god’s favorite customer and pleading for religion to save him through his tough time. The heartbreaking request for company and attention moved the crowd in ways that only Father John Misty could do perfectly himself.

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When coming back from the encore, many fans began shouting requesting songs. Quickly, Tillman addressed that they would not be playing songs like “Ideal Husband” and “Magic Mountain” as only his absent guitar player could perform such high musicianship. For his encore, he returned with four songs, beginning with “Funtimes in Babylon”, to “The Palace”, “I’m Writing a Novel”, and ending on “Date Night”. As he sang “Date Night”, the most upbeat song on his new album, Tillman danced almost drunkenly on stage, using the microphone for support and thrusting it into the air in times of emphasis.

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It was hard not to stare in awe and complete shock of his presence Wednesday night. Misty is a revolutionary artist that will continue to push social boundaries in music and excel in the industry. If you’re looking for a concert to party hard at, Father John Misty may not be the show for you. But, if you love and appreciate music, I’d highly recommend making it out to a show or listening any song in his discography.

See full gallery of the night!

Father John Misty Setlist The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC, USA 2018, God’s Favorite Customer

Catch This Tour:

Fort Lauderdale, FL
Athens, GA
Athens, GA
Birmingham, AL
Austin, TX
New Orleans, LA
Knoxville, TN
Oxford, MS
Oklahoma City, OK
Gateshead, England, United Kingdom
Liverpool Olympia
Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom
Leicester, England, United Kingdom
Bath, England, United Kingdom
Borgerhout, Flemish Region, Belgium
Fri 6 PM UTC+01175 guests
Eindhoven, North Brabant, Netherlands
Groningen, Netherlands
Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
Darmstadt, Hessen, Germany
Berlin, Germany
Wangels, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Frederiksberg, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark
Gothenburg, Västra Götaland County, Sweden
Budapest, Hungary
Vienna, Austria
Rust, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Zürich, Canton of Zürich, Switzerland
Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

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