Satirical, retrospective and humorous all at once, crowds drifted away from their 9-5 thoughts and into the wonderful world of Father John Misty (Joshua Tillman) on Thursday night. Playing The Chicago Theatre in all its glory, the billowing curtains, cathedral style ceiling and history-laden walls set the stage for his mammoth comeback to the Windy City.
While undoubtedly falling into the ‘indie’ genre (and even being a former member of indie superstars Fleet Foxes,) I — and many others — would argue that it would be a true disservice to not recognize his range. Bringing stories to life through lyrics in a way that is truly indescribable, many of his songs sway from beginning to end without so much of a ‘chorus’ but rather an expedition of carefully selected words. Overloaded with nostalgia for many whom grew up listening to the Maryland born musician, fans shouted endless “I love you’s” and rose to their feet on numerous occasions throughout his 22 song set.
Collaborating with mainstream artists such as Lady Gaga, Post Malone and even Beyoncé to name a few in the past, Father John Misty has shown time and time again that his musical talents go far beyond his alternative/indie persona. Shaking the hands of front row goers, letting a dance move briefly escape and sharing banter with the crowd, Tillman ended the night with a surprising hit that wasn’t anywhere to be found on the original setlist – Real Love Baby. Joking that he didn’t even remember writing the song but fans seemed to like it (which may be the understatement of the century) I encourage you to give it a listen to here and catch the musical mastermind on an upcoming US tour date, here.
Photography and words by Hayley Parker Photography.