The Night Josh Tillman came to De Montfort Hall
After booking the tickets in early July, the day had finally came around to see Father John Misty, an artist I’ve been excited about since hearing his second album I Love You Honeybear back in 2015. His two records which followed both have gripped me, especially Pure Comedy (2017), which still stands as one of my favourite records of all time. Also I never knew when the chance would come again to see him perform, so there’s the brief story of why I had to see this.
De Montfort Hall, Leicester is graceful venue, with big pillars outside and very old architecture, one which really suited the show which was to follow. So if there’s ever a chance to go to this venue, definitely go, you won’t be disappointed.
The support act was an artist called Bedouine who was a calming and peaceful acoustic act, who displayed a good sense of humour. Playing songs from her debut album she really impressed me and made me seek out and listen to more of her music. ‘Nice and Quiet’ really stood out as well as her cover of Elton John’s ‘Come Down In Time’, her relaxed set was a pleasant star to the night.
I knew the show wasn’t going to be anything like the gigs I normally go to, as FJM’s songs are more acoustic based and much slower. So moshing and rampant pushing wasn’t going to feature throughout any song. Also the audience was much more diverse, with people of all ages coming out to see one of the most interesting musical acts we have in this modern time.
He strolled out wearing the white suit he’s been pictured in throughout the tour, and he looked special with an aura surrounding him. Some people just have that look, and he’s got it. Opening with ‘Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings’, a song from his debut album as FJM, it really picked the crowd up and pierced the bubble of anticipation which was bouncing around the room.
The setlist contained tracks from each of his four albums giving it a wide variety, and highlighting how good of a songwriter he really is. Playing through the magical and melodic ‘Mr.Tillman’ to completely bringing the tone down with ‘Ballad of the Dying Man’, the set had a real diverse range of song choice.
Throughout the night you had several members of the crowd shouting “I love you Josh” which resulted in FJM giving a subtle nod back in the general direction where the cry came from. Not the most entertaining event, but it happened.
FJM’s voice was in fine form, hitting every single note that he mapped out for himself. Great examples of this was the performance of ‘Hangout at the Gallows’ as he screamed the lyrics “What’s Your Politics?, What’s your Religion?”. As well as this every patented “Oooooooh” was completely on point and fell on the eardrum delicately.
A highlight of the show had to be the performance of ‘Pure Comedy’, not only is it a great song live, but it features the fantastic breakdown where you see FJM completely lose himself in the track as he performs a type of interpretive dance. This was a regular occurrence through the show as he was forever acting out his songs, or practically flying around the stage. Which it difficult to get good pictures, those moves.
Just before he went off for the encore he played ‘Holy Shit’, one of his most underrated tracks. Hearing it live and watching it be performed really put a shine on the song, which it will always have every time I play it.
He then came on to complete the show with a strong encore, playing fan favorite ‘I Love You Honeybear’, along with ‘The Palace’ and ending with the colourful ‘Date Night’. Three very different style of song, but working quite well together, especially ‘Date Night’. The track just has an energy about it, which comes out with the wacky lyrics which FJM seemed to have plucked from the sky.
The show as whole is certainly one of the best that I’ve attended. FJM is very much the whole package and is a born frontman, it’s crazy to think that he used to be behind a drum set. The charisma just seems to ooze out of him with little to no effort, as he makes look ridiculously easy to front a band. Seeing FJM has definitely planted the seed for me to venture out and see him again, if you’re a fan it’s must to see him live. Watch all your favourite songs come alive as they’re told by the charismatic Father that is Josh Tillman.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
Disappointing Diamonds Are the Rarest of Them All
Nancy From Now On
Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
Total Entertainment Forever
Things It Would Have Been Helpful to Know Before the Revolution
Ballad of the Dying Man
Hangout at the Gallows
Only Son of the Ladiesman
Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow
When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay
I Went to the Store One Day
Please Don’t Die
Real Love Baby
God’s Favorite Customer
I Love You, Honeybear