Live Review: Father John Misty, Angie McMahon

24 July 2017 | 12:42 pm | Shaun Colnan

"A sweet Sunday dream to carry them off into the cold night."

More Father John Misty More Father John Misty

Melbourne folk singer Angie McMahon opened to a small but sympathetic crowd of folk aficionados, playing a stripped-back set that was at times dreamy and elegiac.

American singer-songwriter Josh Tillman, more commonly known by the moniker Father John Misty, arrived drenched in the hype that follows a lengthy wait as his accompaniment casually waltzed on stage.

For only one night at Metro Theatre, as part of a few Splendour sideshows, Tillman played from his new and old albums, showcasing his witticism and awkward grace.

Blue light rising from the back of the stage enhanced the mystique Tillman carries with him and his long black coat gave him the appearance of some maverick preacher. His first song, the title track from his latest album, Pure Comedy, was every bit a fitting diatribe. Tillman waxed lyrical about the irony of the modern world in his anti-religion, anti-establishment, pro-vegan anthem.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Tillman's style is well-orchestrated - the man minced around the stage as eerie visuals screened in the background and bright white backlights danced across the ceiling. The crowd lapped it up, taking in his southern drawl and soft Americana ballads, singing along with their fur-collared denim jackets and well-manicured moustaches.

Tillman occupied a liminal space, reminiscent of James Taylor and Elton John, with shades of Hank Williams, yet speaking of first world problems in a post-truth world. The band moved to a crescendo, matching Tillman as he ascended to the upper echelons of his register, baring his soul on post-western ballads such as Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution. Simple piano, matched with hammers on and off from Tillman's guitar and the slow march of the drums, gifted the audience with a sweet Sunday dream to carry them off into the cold night.