Joshua Tillman is the ‘hipster messiah’ who brings his eclectic indie folk to sold out shows around the world. Under the moniker Father John Misty Joshua has become a master of writing portentous songs that mix comedy, truth, and the mundane. For a musician that has been recording and gigging for nearly twenty years, with success only entering in the last five years or so, Joshua represents the rare artist who eventually made it.
Playing the Bass Concert hall on the UT campus in Austin is a unique venue that brings more of a theatrical feel than your typical local concert. At his show on September 29th Father John Misty was cartoonish in his performance, putting on a flawless stage presence, which the sold-out crowd ate up from the very first song.
With the opening song being the latest hit “Pure Comedy”, the crowd was enraptured as Joshua assumed his sex icon persona form the get go. An interesting cross between an enlightened Jim Morrison and a millennial Cat Stevens, Joshua is a master of perception, and songs like “Nancy From Now On” and “Total Entertainment Forever” proved his songwriting prowess.
While moments in the concert seemed drawn out and a bit too boring and folky, the set list was carefully crafted to ensure that no one got lost in the slow songs. The peak songs in the set were the electro-trance track “True Affection”, and the ungodly sex-dripped song “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings.”
As Father John Misty plowed through a 20-song set, it began to dawn on the listener that the superior songwriting makes Joshua something of a folk God. The cynical and slightly depressed icon, has an authentic aura that endears himself to many. A brilliant encore with tracks “Real Love Baby” and “Holy Shit” would cap a night of captivating music and pure entertainment.