Father John Misty preaches to a full congregation in the park

Photo by Tanis Lischewski
Photo by Tanis Lischewski

With his setlist choice and overflowing confidence on stage Josh Tillman, otherwise known as Father John Misty is about as ‘ballsy’ as it comes for a frontman, which is saying a lot. Father John Misty delivered in spades Friday night among the Sitka-spruce and Douglas-fir tree adorned backdrop at the Malkin Bowl in the heart of Stanley Park. The decision to play the bulk of his newest album Pure Comedy with his much discussed debonair style, fans of Tillman had the challenge of being current with the artist’s catalogue if they were to enjoy the bulk of the night.

On what was about as perfect of a May night as one could hope for in our beautiful city Father John Misty was not only backed up by the radiant aesthetic that Stanley Park offers by the moment Friday night, he and his band also saw the backing of a small orchestra at 610 Pipeline Road.

Hours before the show a note from Live Nation came out stating that due to the power outages and cleanup required from the recent wind storm set times would be pushed back an hour. To the credit of the crew on site at Stanley Park and those involved with the musicians as well as the notorious promoting company, Tillman started almost to the second of the revised time.

Photo by Tanis Lischewski
Photo by Tanis Lischewski

The crowd on Friday night may have had their good spirits tested as the robust lineups for a beer at the sold-out Makin Bowl showed no signs of reprieve.

Making his opinion on the Trump administration no secret, the first three-quarters of the evening was largely a gesture to promote the musician’s third and most recent release under the guise of ‘Father John Misty’, Pure Comedy.

The patience of the supportive crowd might have been in question if not for the orchestral accompaniment afforded to the atheist pastor and his band of clergymen. The depth to Pure Comedy was further in gratitude of the multitude of stars atop of the humbled crowd attending Stanley Park on the night, making the emphasis on the album more of an event than may have been felt otherwise.

Lacking self-confidence in no imaginable way, Father John Misty acted the role by dropping to his knees at one point in the evening. However, beyond his sophisticated style consisting of a suit jacket over svelte dress shirt to accompany his sunglasses worn well beyond sundown and perfect flowing hair amid the standard issue hipster beard, Tillman also managed to make walking in regurgitant appear about as ‘cool’ as Miles Davis. Yes, despite the 1,500+ people well aware of a female concert-goer’s inability to know her current limits, the only one ‘out of the loop’ was Father John Misty. The unknowing musician out of Rockville, Maryland proceeded to hop his lanky frame off of the pulpit to meet and briefly greet his adoring Vancouver fan base, and in doing so found himself standing (and singing) in the young lady’s disgorge.   

Photo by Tanis Lischewski
Photo by Tanis Lischewski

Someone in the Father John Misty’s band was assumingly the bearer of the (hopefully) laughable privilege of communicating to the singer his unfortunate landing spot. In any event, the regrettable (throw-up) occurrence made-up the only action from the golden-voiced singer that he would likely revise (if given the opportunity) during his Friday night set in Vancouver.

After quite some time, Father John Misty engaged his audience with the familiar back-catalogue that in turn earned the artist a warm reception. Reaching back to 2012’s Fear Fun as well as 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear, whether out of relief or recognizability Vancouver’s Malkin Bowl attendees made their presence loudly known by (well into the set) vocally reminding those downtown that there was a concert in the park Friday night.

On what was a beautiful night in Lord Stanley’s Park at the Malkin Bowl on Friday evening, Father John Misty performed an emotional set that saw the artist do everything from dance the two-step alone on a stage of 15, to break hearts and philosophize politics to an adoring crowd. Assuming that there was more than a couple of accepting applicants in the audience should the singer have extended an invite to engage in a dance together onstage, the stately 36-year-old (using the moniker) ‘Father John Misty’ put on a lively performance in Stanley Park. The fantastic showman gently exited the stage with a simple “good night” as his salutation and reminder to his fans that he loves them. As evidenced by the satiated faces in the crowd post show, Vancouverites were free to contently face the remainder of their respective last weekend of May 2017.

Live Photo Gallery by Tanis Lischewski for Father John Misty: