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Father John Misty Dazzles Terminal 5

July 25th, 2013

Father John Misty/Wild Nothing – Terminal 5 – July 24, 2013


Quite a crowd gathered in the vastness of Terminal 5 last night to see a double bill of indie-rock/dream-pop band Wild Nothing and folk maestro Father John Misty. And we weren’t disappointed. Both acts managed to fill the caverns of one of New York City’s larger music venues with excellent music. Wild Nothing frontman Jack Tatum sauntered onstage with his four-person band to deliver a dreamy set filled with the crowd’s favorite songs. His lyrics are distinctly straightforward and he gracefully pairs the words with floating synth-filled instrumentation. Wild Nothing’s music, like the venue it filled last night, is very spacious. The set was a luxurious listening experience complete with material from all across Tatum’s extensive repertoire.

The stage was transformed into a psychedelic playground for Josh Tillman, the man behind Father John Misty. He entered in his signature mercurial manner, clad in a white suit and sunglasses with a cigarette in his hand and a wide grin on his face. Backed by five bandmates, Tillman kicked off the set with an up-tempo version of “Funtimes in Babylon,” followed by “Only Son of the Ladiesman,” during which he got into some crowd-pleasing microphone acrobatics. The audience swayed happily to Tillman’s bittersweet ballad “Nancy from Now On” and cheered for the honky-tonk aura he assumed during “I’m Writing a Novel” and “Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2.”

The music turned pleasantly melancholic on “This Is Sally Hatchet,” “Well, You Can Do It Without Me” and “Now I’m Learning to Love the War.” And Tillman kept up the witty banter to the crowd’s happy satisfaction. Renditions of  “Tee Pees 1-12” and “Everyman Needs a Companion” followed, and “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” had everyone singing along exuberantly. The audience was drawn to Tillman like bugs to a shining light on a summer night. The band left the stage briefly, clearly expecting cheers. Father John Misty and Co. returned for a short encore, with the frontman requesting that the disco ball be switched on. They finished with a cover of the Beatles’ “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” and a new tune, “I Love You, Honey Bear.” Tillman graciously exited the stage, assuring us he would be back soon. I, for one, look forward to it. —Schuyler Rooth

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com