I split an Uber with my roommate and a group of freshmen, unknowingly about to have the most spiritual experience of my life. We weren’t going to church or meeting a shaman, we were on our way to see our collective psychedelic father turned sex symbol – Father John Misty.
Father John Misty is a moniker assumed by former Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman in 2012 after Tillman went on a psychedelic influenced binge. Tillman awoke naked in a tree on the California coast having found inspiration for his new project. As Father John, Tillman uses exaggerated irony combined with anti-materialistic political rhetoric to become an almost parody of the socially active folk singer. A great example of his writing is the song “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.,” where Tillman writes a love song about everything he hates about his wife. He complains that her “malaprops make me want to fucking scream” and about her “petty, vogue ideas.” Instead of coming off as overly political or contemptuous however, Tillman creates something that is unapologetically authentic.
Student Daniel Marsan was stunned by the concert, despite only hearing of Father John Misty a week before the concert.
“Before the concert the anticipation was immense, comparable to watching the world cup final. During it started raining, but to be honest I started thinking that as soon as Father John fell on his back and started whipping the mic around, the rain was gone. Honestly the atmosphere was amazing, it got rid of that cold feeling.”
The concert was held at McMenamin’s Edgefield Amphitheater, about a thirty minute drive north from campus. The amphitheater is connected to a small hotel compound that became increasingly harder to navigate as the night got darker. The actual stage is open to the elements at the bottom of a steep hill filled with an incredibly diverse crowd. Tillman’s music is so diverse and unique that his target demographic is pretty much anyone who listens to music. His melodic folk attracts both elderly folk enthusiasts and a younger crowd who are drawn towards both his sexual stage presence and introspective lyrics, which address the communal monachopsis that is gradually coming to define our generation.
Student Natalie Casson has been a Father John Misty fan for years and joined us at the concert.
“It was one of the best concerts I’ve been to in a very long time because he took his music and he made it about more than just the music with his actions and his stage presence. It was really like a full blown performance, to see him as a performer and a musician.”
Casson had organized a small group of student to accompany her to the concert.
“It was an awesome experience and I’m happy it was so soon because I got to meet up with a bunch of people that I had kind of known but wanted to get to know better.”
I ran into freshman Sarah Hill at the Father John Misty concert.
“It was one of the most awesome concerts that I’ve been to in a long time. Father John Misty is a really good performer, I’ve never seen anyone dance so awesome; he was really lively. It was pretty funny how he walked on and out to Drake, this is like some alternative folk dude. It was funny to see a lot of Lewis and Clark students there as well.”