Meeting a rock star can be challenging. Some times they are rushed off to the next destination in a sea of body guards. Other times they sneak out of the venue avoiding their fans and possible deranged lunatics. But I admire those that are genuinely happy to meet their fans (I am not talking about the ones that charge outrages prices for meet and greets). I had the privilege of meeting Father John Misty after his show on Saturday night. He was down to earth and friendly (he is a Father of Mist after all). It took a great deal of my patience, tolerance to the roadies cigarettes, and risk of being rejected. But it was worth it to meet him.
Josh Tillman grew up in an Evangelical Christian home in a suburb of Washington, D.C. where secular music was not allowed. Rebelling against those beliefs, he found himself in the folk rock scene in the Pacific North West. That eventually lead to a drumming gig with the indie band Fleet Foxes. He found success on his own under the pseudonym Father John Misty. Last year’s album I Love You Honeybear made most top Album Lists of 2015.
|Father John Misty|
Right when Father John Misty walked out on stage at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, he told the audience to stand up (which they did for the remainder of the night). He stated when I was stalking him … I mean randomly encountered him walking to his tour bus … that he didn’t want the audience to wonder if they should stand or sit. So he just told them to stand.
|The amazing lighting theatrics|
Father John Misty wore a designer ensemble from Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. He said this year they just started sending it to him for free. When I was shadowing him … I mean during my exclusive interview… he was excited to find a way to make the Ellie Caulking Opera House showcase his music. Judging from the extraordinary timed lighting to the outstanding sound, he accomplished his goal.
Father John Misty is an amazing performer. His powerful voice and commanding stage presents channeled James Brown and Elvis Presley. He sang with so much passion that he was brought to his knees and even threw his guitar high above the stage into a roadies’ arms. The women in audience swooned to his swagger and screamed in excitement whenever Father John Misty was inspired to dance. The men in the audience mostly all had beards and I don’t know what they were doing underneath all that hair.
|Father John Misty in his designer threads|
After performing his song, Bored in the USA about the mediocre middle class state of being, he mentioned that Bernie Sanders wanted to use the song for his campaign. He refused and stated the reason was in the lyrics in his next song Holy Sh*t about the depressing circumstances of the world. After the lines, “New regimes, old ideas. That’s now myth, that’s now real.” Father John Misty paused and said, “That’s good stuff.” I agree.
|Tess & Dave|
Opening the show was two members of Father John Misty’s band. Guitar player Dave Venervelde and background singer Tess Sharpiro performed under the name Dave & Tess. They started out robot dancing to a science fiction mystical soundtrack in silver glittery outfits. After a few awkward moments, they started singing together while dancing through a carefully choreographed routine. When I was lurking around the tour bus after the show … I mean talking to Tess Shapiro … she explained the steps were created to be extremely simple to go along with the music. I was so caught up with what was happening on stage, it took me three songs to realize they were performing to a backing track. When Dave Vandervelde played the guitar without the spacey electronic accompaniment, their real talent shined in their fun simple songs. One was about drinking large quantities of beer entitled …. wait for it…..Beer. Another song about modern cars asking the important question “What does a Prius even mean?” It was dangerously close to to being a Saturday Night Live skit. Sharpiro mainly used the bass guitar as a prop and her backing vocals continued when she left the stage for a costume change. But in the end, they were charming. Especially when I was ease dropping on their conversations after the concert… I mean interviewing them for this blog.
See you at the next show. I will be the one next to the tour bus.