In the lounge with Father John Misty

The concert was in Vicar Street – one of the world’s greatest performance venues, for an audience. It is relatively new, so lacks the smell of despair and stale vomit, that older venues can possess. It has a capacity of 1200 people which is ideal – large enough to feel like an event, yet compact enough that you are never too far from the stage, and you are guaranteed a good vantage point.

Last evening’s pre-birthday entertainment was by Father John Misty. When a friend contacted me and asked whether I was interested in attending, I automatically accepted. The fact that I had never heard of the Reverend Misty was irrelevant. I trust the taste levels of my friends. And live music is always a winner.

A few weeks before the gig – the last of the three nights he was performing in Dublin – I googled him. To my delight I discovered that he had been a member of Fleet Foxes – now that was a band to be reckoned with (I saw them last year in the Iveagh Gardens – my account of that show is HERE). He had also released and impressive number of solo albums under his real name Joshua Tillman, and his pseudonym Father John Misty.

My extensive YouTube research revealed him to be an excellent artist – whose genre I suppose, could be described as a folky, rock style. Very west coast, American sounding.

When he appeared on stage at 9.25pm the audience was excited. His voice was loud, strong and pure and the music was urgent and impressive. He sang a range of songs in a beautiful clear tone – including some that I had heard during my weeks long research ‘Bored in the USA’; ‘Mr. Tillman’ and the wonderful finale ‘I love you Honeybear’, among many others.

An excellent show by a very accomplished and charismatic performer.

The shades he wore onstage throughout the show, may have been for medical reasons – like Bono and his glaucoma – so I won’t judge the pretentiousness or otherwise of that fashion choice. Appearance is a shallow consideration I know, but for a rock star it is more important. Mr Misty was long of hair and lustrous of beard. I just wish he’d gone full on Diana Ross with a bouffant hairdo. As he was snakish of hip, a flared, beige, pimp-suit and crocodile skin cowboy boots, would have suited the sunglasses and hair more than the jeans. A bright green shirt with a snot-picker collar, with the top four buttons open, revealing a big, gold medallion would have been highly appropriate. If you are going to wear shades on stage, then own them, and go full on lounge lizard.

This is not a criticism or a complaint however – just my reaction to a very impressive show. I’ll be back, the next time he plays Ireland.

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