BWW Review: A Month with FATHER JOHN MISTY
Okay, maybe not with Father John Misty. But I did spend a month with his music. Last month, at Massey Hall in Toronto, FATHER JOHN MISTY (FJM) performed to a sold-out crowd of energetic fans. I didn't know what I was getting myself into. His musical style left such an impression on me, I decided to spend some time getting to know it a bit better. FJM's newest album, Pure Comedy strays from melodic, conventional tunes to a land of poetic musical-sermons.
Pure Comedy begins with the line, "The comedy of man starts like this - our brains are way too big for our mothers' hips," and continues its anthropological commentary for the next 74 minutes. It's intense. He's intense.
FJM live feels eerily unpredictable. He's following a set list, of course, but you still get the sense that at any moment he might just drop the mic and walk away. It makes the whole facade rather exhilarating.
The Pure Comedy tour featured stunning projections, using provocative drawings and bright colours to an almost hallucinogenic effect. With a mix of older tunes and laments from his newest album, I sensed a theme in the lighting design. When performing the newer, Pure Comedy songs - FJM was fully lit, illuminating every twitch of his face while communicating the nuances of his sarcastic, cynical prose. Older selections, like 2016's "Real Love Baby" used silhouetting and back lighting to shade practically any facial expression. Was he trying to send a message that this new sound was more true to him?
FATHER JOHN MISTY takes his platform and uses is to ask ridiculous questions about society, while simultaneously holding up a mirror to society's ridiculousness. If you haven't heard FJM, take a listen to Pure Comedy. I recommend taking it all in, from start to finish.