Review: Father John Misty at Kelvingrove Bandstand

Published

Credit: Rachel Gillet

Rachel Gillet
Writer

Mr Tillman, it’s good to see you again. What is there to say about Father John Misty’s gig other than it was incredible. Over a day has passed, yet I am still buzzing with the excitement I felt seeing him live. I was a bit apprehensive going into it, as many artists can be amazing on record, but fail to live up to that quality live. I am more than happy to say that this is not the case here. It’s fair to call it the best concert I have ever been to.

Father John Misty, or Josh Tillman, is an American indie-rock and folk artist, although his music can be hard to pin down exactly, as it demonstrates a wide variety of styles. He has been active since 2004, and throughout his performance you could hear the development of his sound, with him playing a variety of different songs from throughout his career. This performance demonstrated clearly the skill and talent he has as an artist, and he is fully aware of it.

The crowd was alive throughout Tillman’s set, without any lulls. There were cheers and people singing along, always a sign of a great performer. There was the added benefit of fantastic weather, which is especially important with any outdoor gig. It should be noted that the people choreographing the lights did a fantastic job, as instead of fighting against the natural light, they used it to make the lights look even more spectacular. This was especially clear when Tillman sang Nothing Good Ever Happens At The Goddamn Thirsty Crow, which started off slow and calm and then switched instantly full of energy; guitar throw and everything.

This speaks to Tillman as a performer. It was clear that he loves performing and shocking the audience. There was little speaking in between songs, some banter, but the music definitely took centre stage. This lively set contrasts the opening act, Bedouin. She had a strong voice and a great acoustic set, but it seemed strange to have her opening for what followed. She is much more folky than Tillman, and unfortunately she was lost in the crowd who insisted on talking all the way through her set. It’s a shame really because she is clearly very talented. She is Syrian, having grown up in Saudi Arabia with Armenian roots, which played a big role in one song which she sang entirely in Armenian. She is certainly an interesting artist and I will be listening to her in the future.

Overall, the show as a whole exceeded my high (if tentative) expectations. All the elements added up to an unforgettable gig. I would highly recommend any fans of Tillman to try to see him live, and if you haven’t heard his music I would recommend you pop him on your Spotify playlists now.