Last night I experienced something so unforgettable and so mind-blowing that I am just happy to share with the readers on Mindinversion.net. I love music so much, yet I find it incredibly hard to write to an audience while being succinct, to the point, factual-in great depth, and at the same time remain fair, interesting, and unbiased. Like, this is what I truly listen to. I am not just pushing this to promote someone I know. So when I come across an experience such as this I must share. I am going to avoid the small details, not do a bio, and stick to what I know in this piece-I am going to stick to the subjective perspective of the audience member involved: Me.
Let me preface by saying, I had little knowledge of Father John Misty before the show itself. In fact, I had only heard a few songs of his on The Current, and I had read a brief bio (forwarded through email by a friend), or intro, or something in a local magazine. The point is not that I knew of Father John Misty before going to the show, or that I was a mega-fan, or to write an A&E biography of the guy, the point is that if you have the opportunity to see Father John Misty, or you haven’t heard of his music, you should. He is the shit, and that is what’s happening.
Last night I attended a Father John Misty show at First Avenue, and I was stunned by the sound, the performance, the vulgarities, the honesty, the attraction, the allure, and the general idea of Father John Misty himself. He is a simple paradox, a dichotomy of a human being, a split personality of oneself, a diversity of contrast, not to be oxymoronic or redundant. He is the embodiment of a true performer, one of very very few existing on earth.
My significant other had purchased tickets a few months back and had expressed that I could join if I cared to. I accepted the offer, thankfully. As now I am writing about something amazing that happened in my life.
We biked to First Ave. from NE Minneapolis, in the rain. Arriving at around 9 PM, obviating the opening band, Solid Gold (for no apparent reason at all). We arrived wet and soaked to the bone. After entering we promptly ordered whiskeys and gazed over the massive sold-out crowd of the main room floor. Walking towards the stage we found a spot near the right side, just above the lower-level standing room area, and watched as the roadies set the stage for what was going to be a show. After 15 minutes of waiting the band entered the room to a roar, the floor lights went dim and a spotlight hit the man at center stage. The show was on, and this is what transpired, in broken prose and obscure paragraphs:
Electric rock blues country indie psychedelic sound with 100% heart within the live performance. Haunting, chilling, numbing, and genuinely real. Sorrow was on display. Realism was tangible. A dark gospel was in session.
Father John Misty, the true performer. Like Mercury and Morrison on stage; at times pure evil, at times sultan of seduction, at times almost bringing you to tears, or terror, and all at once, had you laughing moments later.
He performed the hits, some new material, and even for an encore (1 of the 3 songs) pleaser he did a rendition of The Beatles’, Happiness Is a Warm Gun.
His [Father John Misty] antics and ad-libs added to the amusement and brought humor and a human aspect to the set: pokes on Prince, America, and humanity rang true and effective. I felt like I knew him by the end. At the start I wasn’t sure if I was even a fan, at the conclusion I knew I had seen something amazing, and I needed to delve more into his musical catalog. Fantastic.
Authentic, yet almost vulnerable on stage, something that garnered an emotional cord with the crowd; I was moved at his artistry and the way the lighting made the theatre on stage come alive; I was not just at a concert, I was on a journey. Father John Misty at the helm.
At one point, during Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings, one of the best songs of the evening, I thought someone (Father John Misty himself) was going to choke on a mic cord; however, not to worry all was crescendo, breakdown, and lights after that. There was an encore with 3 songs (as mentioned above) and that was it. I stood in awe. I was impressed.
End of What Transpired.
All that said, Father John Misty is a talented live performer. The set he created delivered to someone who was an ignorant fan, even the backdrop was well-done. His material has been on the radio for some time, I’ll be it more tame and polished than at the live show, but what the performance offered in dark and grit was a catalytic reflection of the manifestation of artist from album to live performance. If you have a chance to see Father John Misty, or you haven’t purchased the album, I suggest you get on that. Father John Misty has given us some very interesting and relatable art to listen to, however subtle and manipulated on the record, a great listen all around.
Father John Misty is a true performer, a real performer, someone who can put on a captivating show and not fret about reviews. He may have shocked an awed, but he is a true artist from what I have seen. Now, have a look for yourself.