Review: Father John Misty at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. May 21, 2013

Review: Father John Misty at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. May 21, 2013Father John Misty (4)

Photos and review by Joe Stadele.
Published by JB on May 25, 2013.


“Thanks…thank you…for all the good things you’ve done in your lives, there’s a lot to thank you for, other than going to this show, but thank you for that! Thanks for the time you pulled your brother from that frozen lake.  Thanks for the time you gave your mom a kidney.  Thanks for that time you tutored after school even though you wanted to be at the arcade with your friends…thank you…thank you.” ~Father John Misty

Marking his fourth Minneapolis performance in just under a year in promotion of 2012’s FEAR FUN, Father John Misty, aka Josh Tillman, was in an appreciative and fun mood Tuesday night at First Avenue.  Welcomed by a sold out crowd, Tillman took to a mural backdropped stage with whiskey in hand.  He took a swig of his drink and promptly blew it to the air and quipped, “Well, there goes the special effects budget for the evening!”  And just like that he set the tone for night; a performance equal parts musical performance and stand-up comedy.

Father John Misty (7)The nearly 80 minute set included all but one track off FEAR FUN and only slowed down during for the encore.  Misty took the stage to sing a solo acoustic song before the band came back to join him in a run through of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.”  He promised the closer, “I Love You, Honeybear” would out stage the Beatles…I think it’s safe to say you can’t upstage nostalgia but the performance was enjoyable nonetheless.

A fun part of Misty’s lyrics is how he infuses his darkly twisted sense of humor into each song.  Whether it be love or religion, his lyrics feel conversational yet too cynically witty and poetic to feel like general conversation.  Three songs into the show, the band kicked into “Nancy From Now On”, a song about the joys of autopilot drunkenness that’s accompanied with a video about the joys of sadistic love..and of course drinking.  No matter the topic, Tillman has a way Father John Misty (22)of drawing you into each tale and at the show, the audience gladly obliged, danced and sang along with Misty.  One of the few moments of pure conviction came with show opener “Funtimes In Babylon” when he repeatedly sang, “Lookout Hollywood, here I come.”   It felt like he meant every word of it, or perhaps he didn’t mean a thing. More importantly, he kept the audience engaged as they swarmed in the palm of his stage throughout the show.

“Nailed it!,” Josh Tillman quipped upon plucking final acoustic string of “Well, You Can Do It Without Me.“ Indeed he did.  That sentiment was echoed throughout the building as fans and the newly initiated expressed how impressed they were with not just the music, but the show as whole.

Father John Misty will be return July 12th for the Basilica Block Party in Minneapolis.






  • Funtimes in Babylon
  • Only Son of a Ladiesman
  • Nancy From Now On
  • I’m Writing a Novel
  • Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2
  • This is Sally Hatchet
  • Now I’m Learning to Love the War
  • Well, You Can Do It Without Me
  • Tee Pees 1-12
  • Everyman Needs a Companion
  • Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings


  • (New Unknown Solo Acoustic)
  • Medley:  Happiness is a Warm Gun (The Beatles)
  • I Love You, Honeybear


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