By Zach Breeding, Editor in Chief
“If there’s going to be a night on this tour where I slip on a banana peel, get my head stuck in a bucket and then stumble into the broom closet, tonight is that night.” This comedy of errors described by the writer/performer of pure comedy, the latest self-described “space opera” from Father John Misty, while descriptive of the artists performance at the Peabody Opera House this past Saturday is a bit misleading. For myself and every other person I asked post show, the mishaps like “French braiding together a microphone cable and a guitar cable” only added to the stellar night.
The atmosphere of the show was pure hipster; with the number of flannel shirts in the crowd likely outnumbering the number of people (I, admittedly, was participating in this trend). While earrings and horn-rimmed glasses seemed encouraged but not entirely mandatory.
The opener, Weyes Blood, was a shocking blend of noise and art rock with a healthy dash of HAIM thrown in for some girl power from the incredibly powerful lead singer Natalie Mering.
Misty began the show with a run through of just about the first half of his newest album, a commercial and critical smash hit garnering an 85 on Metacritic and topping out at No. 1 on the Billboard rock chart,
High points of a performance filled with peaks were “Total Entertainment Forever”, with the line “bedding Taylor Swift every night inside the Oculus Rift” causing an absolute uproar, and during “Real Love Baby” Misty was barely distinguishable as the crowd was belting the lyrics louder than the amplifiers could possibly project.
But the comedy of errors didn’t stop at tangled cords and stumbling on stage. Misty seemingly forgot or didn’t care to sing a portion of “So I’m Growing Old on Magic Mountain” and there was a brief, obviously unplanned interlude between “Strange Encounter” and “Nothing Good Ever Happens at the God Damn Thirsty Crow” as some technical issues were seemingly sorted out with one of the backups guitars. These consistent problems were seemingly getting to Misty but the crowd was eating it up.
In the spirit of the impromptu night, after coming out for the encore Misty hosted an informal Q&A from on stage. Misty ignored the obvious questions shouted from the usual suspects like “Do you believe in aliens?” and “Fuck Donald Trump” yelled with such an inflection that it could have maybe been a question. Instead preferring to answer things more personal like his favorite Bob Dylan album. Instead of naming an all-time favorite which he said would be impossible he said that he had been recently obsessed with the Christmas album “Christmas in the Heart”. While this is a very odd choice, it’s nothing less than the fans would expect from a man who drives a hearse. As for Misty’s favorite Horror movie he said that he absolutely cannot watch them and he’d only seen one in his entire life that had scarred him to the point of no return to the genre.
Ending the show with one of his more contemplative hits, “Holy Shit” Misty really drove home what makes him so appealing to his niche and so necessary to music today. Not only can the man sing well enough to make Sinatra and Mercury jealous, he can turn a song from quick wit to contemplative thought to complete romance all in just two lines. These being the last of the night’s performance: “Maybe love is just an economy based on resource scarcity” this is the kind of dry humor and cynicism that Misty is famous for and what attracts most people to his music but the next line: “But what I fail to see is what that’s got to do with you and me.” Is what makes his fans stick around. The catharsis at the end of every song; not necessarily ending them on the most friendly or even most appropriate note, but ending them just when they *need* to be ended.