Wednesday, 9 December 2015
Father John Misty-Concert Hall Sydney Opera House
I'm not always sure what motivates the 1% of people who go to gigs, it seems that inane banal comments designed to shine the spotlight on themselves the heckler rather than the performer is the order of the day. But as usual I digress from my present occupation and that is to extol the virtues of Father John as a live performer, the show last night was exceptional in every way. His performance was powerful, he has a magnetic stage presence, dressed in black with flowing locks and scraggy beard he launches himself around the stage. I Love You Honeybear seems an apt opening, the title of his latest album which has seen him breakthrough to a larger audience. Father John opens on an intense note, writhing on the floor before leaping to his feat and mounting the drum riser for added effect! His vocal prowess is a little underestimated he has a commanding throat, very soulful indeed. The first part of his set mines the new album, Strange Encounter is given a suitably dramatic treatment, the highlight is True Affection a slab of 80's synth that is coated with soul and performed in emphatic fashion. Only Son Of A Ladies Man from Fear Fun suits itself to a live setting, it's given an anthemic treatment, When You're Smiling and Astride Me takes the temperature down a notch you also notice being in the presence of a great band, his five piece unit don't miss a stride all evening.
I'm Writing A Novel is a given a funky treatment and the vibe is continued with another I Love You Honeybear highlight Chateau Lobby 4 which has an almost reggae feel. Bored In The USA is a brilliant slice of modern sarcasm it's a haunting tune and Father John captures that sense of dread that is the thread of the song. The dark rocking Ideal Husband closes the show before Father John comes out for a brief impromptu Q&A! He lowers the notch with I Went To The Store One Day accompanied only by acoustic guitar and his tremulous voice. Everyman Needs A Companion closes what is an amazing show, Father John is a swaggering, grandstanding on stage presence no one else does it better.