Father John Misty And A.A. Bondy Take Over The Natural History Museum
After quitting his gig as the drummer of Fleet Foxes, singer/songwriter/musician Josh Tillman moved to L.A. to figure things out. He’d previously recorded as a solo artist under the name J. Tillman, releasing multiple albums in a ten year span. It was time for something ne., Father John Misty was born on the city’s outskirts and his debut album "Fear Fun" came out Tuesday.
And it’s really good.
And live, it’s even better.
He and band performed nearly the whole album at the museum’s monthly First Fridays event, with a vitality that’s difficult to explain in type. Tillman’s stage presence is something at which to marvel as his hands and facial expressions help to further tell the stories weaved throughout the very narrative lyrics.
On songs like “I’m Writing a Novel” and “Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2” and “Only Son of a Ladiesman” (and really, on every song), being a member of the audience was akin to being mesmerized, with sights and sounds to please the senses into a state of wonderful contentment.
The drummer, bassist and lead guitarist added harmonies and energy throughout, complementing Tillman’s infectiousness. The band finished things off with its rousing “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” much to the pleasure of those dancing and singing along amidst the darkened hall and the museum’s artifacts.
A.A. Bondy took the stage next, performing a much less lively but nonetheless as lovely set for the same room but smaller crowd. The songs were in fact so beautifully quiet that on multiple occasions, chatty members in the audience’s rear were hushed to silence by those closer to the front.
His music is meant to be enjoyed in a state of thoughtful tranquility and if you allow yourself to settle in, listen and appreciate his offerings, you’ll undoubtedly reach that state.
He’s released three albums thus far, most recently "Believers" in 2011. Performing from all three albums, he provided the crowd with his focused mixture of soft guitar, folk and dark rock music. And as his gently charming voice glided and soothed on tracks like "The Heart is Willing" and "Mightiest of Guns," it became difficult to imagine a more fitting end to a blissful night out at the museum.
Reach Emily Wilson here.