Father John Misty

support Khruangbin
author MIN date 29/05/16 venue Falconer Salen, Copenhagen, DEN

One could argue that Denmark rolled over and became completely submissive to Father John Misty within a year. Over the course of eleven months he’s played this country five times (six including tonight’s performance), and his latest album garnered raving reviews most places. Although I’m personally a bit more withdrawn about ”I Love You, Honeybear” than most others, it’s undeniable that most of Josh Tillman’s material is something pretty special, and therefore I’m curious as to how it’ll work out in a live setting. Last night at Falconer Salen was completely sold out, but as I enter the venue tonight there’s still a few tickets left. It’s interesting to see if this will have an effect on the show, but now there’s a support band to experience.

All photos courtesy of Peter Troest.


Tonight’s opener is the band Khruangbin from Houston, Texas. As the three members enter the stage they don’t start by playing. No, contrary to many support bands, they greet and thank everyone for coming out, quickly establishing a relaxed atmosphere. Once they start playing, the entire room is filled with a nice, soulful groove backed by some solid guitar-jamming. The bass is loud and clear, and the drums are constantly subtle but filled with some good details. Now and then a guitar solo is displayed, adding a nice change of pace when needed. The guitarist has a tendency of getting down on his knees while playing which helps constitute the build-ups their soundscape occasionally presents by throwing in some movement on-stage.

That’s not to say that the rest of the band are inanimate, because there’s definitely a lot of dancing going on by the bassist, and it’s definitely having a positive effect on the crowd. After a few songs, Josh Tillman enters and takes over some additional percussion for a few minutes, proving why he used to be the drummer of Fleet Foxes. He leaves after a nice bongo drum solo, but the extra percussion isn’t missing for long, as suddenly the band members pick up their beer bottles and start banging on them with drum sticks. Several times throughout, the band makes a joke about where they’re from or where they are now, and overall it seems like they’ve won the crowd. Ultimately, they did a great job at warming us up, and when they end their set with the delightful, low-tempo “White Gloves”, everyone’s convinced that they’ve earned this spot.


Father John Misty

Tonight’s main course seems to be running a little late, but when we reach 21:15, Father John Misty aka Josh Tillman and his band finally take the stage. As the band starts playing, one thing occurs to me rather fast during tonight’s first song “Everyman Needs a Companion”: Falconer Salen actually provides some decent sound. Unlike the last time I was here, things quickly shape up the way they should, and the fact that the band is playing tightly and Josh Tillman’s voice fills the entire room already sets the bar pretty high. Even the songs off “I Love You, Honeybear” that I didn’t think highly of get that extra kick they needed on record, and “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me” provides the first real sing-along with its tender ”oh-oh-ohs”. Already here, Tillman gets down on his knees and presents his reputed stage-presence. Any rumor that might’ve been about him being tired of touring is instantly ridiculed as he not only presents the kind of one-liners that are (probably) “run of the mill”-routine, but also quickly responds to whoever in the audience that might shout anything to him.

Josh Tillman has a way of acting out a lot of things on stage, like putting his hand on the foreheads of those in the crowd or laying on the floor while thrusting his pelvis, but whether you like that or not, you can’t take away from the man that he’s damn good at doing what he does. And hey, if the old dinosaurs still playing rock and roll are allowed, why shouldn’t he be? Besides providing some entertaining dancing or jumping off drum kits, Tillman also shares several stories with us, like how he loves to drink like a real Dane outside 7-Eleven at five in the morning. During the middle of the set the pace doesn’t change a lot as songs like “Funtimes in Babylon” and “Nancy From Now On” are aired, but after the band has presented “Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)” and Misty makes a remark about how that song makes you “dance like a 40 year old woman on Xanax on a cruise ship”, the good times quickly present themselves. Personally, I’m a little disappointed that the trumpet is missing from the song, but I guess you can’t have it all; there are plenty of musicians on stage, including several guitars, keyboards, synthesizers and the works.

If excitement’s what was missing for a few songs, then the remainder of tonight’s set more than makes up for it. “I Love You, Honeybear”-favorite “Bored in the USA” strips the stage from all light except for a few white spots, and Josh Tillman slowly walks around the stage while dreadfully describing the present state of America. The horrid picture presented is underlined when he takes the smartphone from a young girl trying to take a selfie and then holds the camera in front of himself while singing. He films himself singing about a post-apocalyptic landscape, making the video seem like a cry for help to anyone out there. The song is definitely one of the highlights during tonight’s set, but also “Holy Shit” (which is made extra bombastic in this live setting) and the intimate and acoustic “I Went to the Store One Day” are especially memorable. Before the final encore, the band plays a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ classic song “Closer” which, although sounding good, far from presents the same abrasive and vulgar sound the original does, but luckily the set ends with glorious guitar fuzz and intense drumming after an impressive delivery of “The Ideal Husband”. Initially, I had my doubts about tonight’s show, but they were all laid to rest by a man who’s born to entertain: The hype is real.



  • 1. Everyman Needs a Companion
  • 2. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings
  • 3. When You’re Smiling and Astride Me
  • 4. Only Son of the Ladiesman
  • 5. Tee Pees 1-12
  • 6. Nothing Good Ever Happens at the Goddamn Thirsty Crow
  • 7. Funtimes in Babylon
  • 8. Nancy From Now On
  • 9. Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)
  • 10. I’m Writing a Novel
  • 11. Now I’m Learning to Love the War
  • 12. Bored in the USA
  • 13. Holy Shit
  • 14. True Affection
  • 15. This is Sally Hatchet
  • 16. I Love You, Honeybear
  • - Encore
  • 17. I Went to the Store One Day
  • 18. Closer (Nine Inch Nails-cover)
  • 19. The Ideal Husband

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