"Misty then returns to take the piss of the whole encore tradition by saying, "How could I possibly leave? I still have two folk bangers left."
Maneuvering our way down Flinders Street, we quickly approach Forum Theatre. This venue features a fully decked-out interior with the option to sit or stand.
Out from behind the red curtains, Cam Avery appears for his solo warm-up slot. With his blues/grunge vocals paired with acoustic guitar and a few songs on the keyboard, Avery entices the crowd into his set of stories. As the room rapidly fills, he plays a song with repeated "I'm disposable" lyrics and his heartache begins to transmit through the crowd.
We're now emotionally warmed up and expect another modest man to walk out solo with a guitar. Instead, Father John Misty (aka Joshua Tillman) plus backing band burst out with his first belter I Love You, Honeybear. There's a red wash on the stage and Tillman's performance is incredibly theatrical - you can feel love and excitement sweeping through the room. Then he whips out a six-string and the lighting changes to blue. Tillman's quiet confidence is overwhelmingly powerful. An incredible energy is created onstage. Nancy From Now On is pulled out next. They rock out with Bored In The USA and Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings. There's a certain charismatic charm to Misty's banter. The whole room is filled with devoted Father John Misty fans who are completely in awe of his performance.
The band leave the stage and Tillman moves on to play a solo, stripped-back version of his classic Holy Shit; some know the words, some don't, but either way everyone is hooked. All of a sudden, the band creeps back on to resume their roles, absolutely belting out the chorus. Tillman puts down his guitar for a dance. A lot of his lyrics are very religious, reflecting an evangelical upbringing. Tillman takes a smartphone from a front row fan and videos himself, perhaps mocking our current social media obsession.
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After thanking the crowd and wandering out of sight, Tillman then returns to take the piss of the whole encore tradition by saying, "How could I possibly leave? I still have two folk bangers left." He then performs a mini Q&A, rocks his final tunes and wraps up an incredibly powerful gig.