I've blogged about Father John Misty before, and on Tuesday night I was lucky enough to catch his/their show at The Metro theatre in Sydney. Now, when I go out on a school night I expect my efforts and lack of sleep to be rewarded appropriately. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed! Let's get started kids.
1. Everyone loves a frontman
When I watched a few live videos of Joshua Tillman on the YouTubes I found that he came across as more of an oddball than a classic frontman. Boy, was I wrong. Or maybe he's special brand of charisma just doesn't translate over the internet. The man was dropping charm bombs left, right and centre. Chimney sweep jokes, just the right amount of amusing self deprecation about his amazing dance moves and also - what is pretty much my favourite thing in any person ever - he cracked up at his own jokes more than anyone else did. I know that may sound like a weird quality to appreciate in a person, but I just love it when someone gets that glint in their eye and starts laughing before they even get the words out. It's not obnoxious. It's delightful.
Plus, he was wearing a suit. Extra points. The singer from the support band "Oh Mercy" was wearing a sleeveless denim vest that said "Cold Chisel" on the back. While that was awesome in its own way, a suit is always better.
2. Be good at what you do.
I love a tight, professional performance. I get tired of watching half-hearted sets by musicians who don't even really know how to play their instruments all that well. It's like there's a certain school of thought that says as long as an artist is "truthful" (or whatever), or just tries really hard, they don't actually have to be good. Um, no. That's not so. Learning your craft is still important for any kind of artist.
3. Let's all be weird together.
FJM's bass player was like a rock and roll wizard. Or a Russell Brand character. Or both. Actually, Russell Brand should make a movie about a rock and roll wizard. Let's all just think on that for a while.
Anyway. The guy had sparkly face paint, floral trousers, threw his arms in the air when he got excited and delivered some pretty mean backup vocals. The lesson that we should learn here, is that we should all march to the beat of our own drummer and let our freak flags fly. Because it's awesome.
4. Dancing magic dance.
Oh how he danced. GOOD LORD, how he danced. Danced the night away. Fantastic dance moves involving the flailing of arms, flinging of limbs, and often the use of his mic stand as a prop. He even brought a lady out from backstage at one point to join him in an impassioned dance solo. It didn't come across as forced or insincere - it was kind of like that cheesy phrase that gets printed on fridge magnets "Dance like no one is watching" being brought to life, the way it was intended to. Except we were all watching. Because we paid to be there.
5. Not all songs are serious.
So, country inspired music is a thing at the moment. And it's so nice to see it done well. However, when they came on for their encore, Tillman started talking about a song they had written while taking a drunken visit to the Sydney Opera House after a gig. They played some of this song for us (it apparently has 27 verses). It's called "Sexwalk." It sounded like something Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake would have written - and I mean that in the best possible way. This is not "Sexwalk" but you should definitely watch it anyway.