Anyone attending Glasgow’s Summer Nights at the Bandstand can easily be subjected to inclement weather, but Father John Misty’s gig happens to fall on a balmy, crystal clear August evening. Kelvingrove Bandstand’s amphitheatre-style seating proves to be a suitably reverential setting for Father John Misty’s (real name Josh Tillman) sold-out show.
Tillman strides on stage to the strains of Henry Mancini’s Mr. Lucky, wearing a casual, all-black outfit, yet he is instantly recognisable with his biblical long hair and beard behind his sunglasses. Tillman opens with the majestic Hangout at the Gallows from his latest album, God’s Favorite Customer. Tillman’s warm, rich voice is commanding in the open air, while his band mesmerise the audience with their energy and skill.
Tillman pauses at one point to explain that the reason he is so ‘casually attired’ is because ‘our luggage is still on the other side of the ocean’. ‘I thought I’d really sell it by wearing this Access All Areas pass’ he deadpans. His banter is interrupted by a friendly heckler who Tillman gently reprimands by saying ‘You are extremely loud, sir’ to laughter from the crowd.
The set comprises a mix of songs from Tillman’s four critically acclaimed albums, but a stand-out is Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow from I Love You, Honeybear. The crowd, which has been convivial from the start, is spellbound as Tillman sings with conviction, backed by his incredible band.
At the end of his set, Tillman returns for an unusually brief encore of Date Night, which also turns out to be one of the evening’s highlights. It’s a slightly abrupt ending to a fantastic show, which will no doubt live long in the memory of the attendees for its magical setting and uniquely charismatic showman.