Malkin Bowl, May 26 2017
By James Olson
VANCOUVER – For an artist with a reputation for being ornery, the indefatigable Josh Tillman (a.k.a Father John Misty) seemed to be enjoying himself at his Vancouver stop on the “Pure Comedy” tour. A sold out show at the Malkin Bowl saw the crowd in good spirits, young parents even brought their children to enjoy the folk rocker’s performance of questionably age appropriate material.
Father John Misty’s set leant heavily on tracks from his most recent release, the expansive and consistently dour Pure Comedy. The title track and “Total Entertainment Forever” served as the opening numbers for Father John Misty’s set, setting the mood for a performance that was celebratory in spite of the caustic nature of his biting lyrics.The stage show was notably sparse with the exception of some mood lighting. Father John Misty’s backing band was quite sizeable but absolutely necessary as they were able to fully capture the sweeping majesty of cuts such as “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me” and “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” in a live setting.
With the exception of a brief pause to comment on the standing President of the United States, Father John Misty’s interaction with the crowd was limited but it did not detract from his performance in the slightest. Tillman could even been seen dancing passionately to the charged energy of “The Ideal Husband.”
It almost seems fittingly that the concluding number was Father John Misty’s most instrumentally barren yet emotionally visceral track. “Holy Shit” garnered a massive sing-along from the crowd before the night came to a close. Father John Misty gave everything fans could have asked for in a performance.Father John Misty, Malkin Bowl