It’s 2017: social media is king, history-making hurricanes ravage the south, and Donald Trump is President of the USA; someone has to make sense of it all. That someone is Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty. With the release of his third solo venture, Pure Comedy, back in April, Father John has made it clear that he is here to shake up the masses. On September 18th, FJM made his return to Massey Hall to mix it up with the faithful-fans once more.
After an angelic performance by Weyes Blood, the stage was set for Father John Misty to take the night to the next level. Coming out to the title track of Pure Comedy, and backdropped by intense caricatures, FJM had us gripped on every word. He holds a fine balance between eccentric vagabond and absolute-showman, with undertones of ‘tongue-in-cheek’-imagery, throughout the entire performance. While many artists will write music that offers their own perspective on their surroundings, Father John Misty instead acts as a mirror; one that reflects our own twisted customs and ideologies back at us. One moment you are dancing and grooving along, but in the next you are left to question whether his lyrics correlate with our own actions.
As in “The Ballad of the Dying Man”, Misty sings, “Eventually the dying man takes his final breath/but first checks his newsfeed to see what he’s about to miss”. Misty directly speaks to how human life and social media interact in 2017, and potentially the future. While Father John is no stranger to Toronto, playing 5+ shows over the past 18 months, every time that you get the chance to see him is another opportunity to pick up on another one of his brilliant anecdotes. Truly, this is a man who views the world exactly as it is, in all of its dirty, exciting wonder. Another amazing performance from Father John Misty at Massey Hall!