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Father John Misty 8/28/16 @ Fuck Yeah Fest. Photo by Oliver Walker for FYF Fest. Used With Permission By www.BlurredCulture.com.

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I’ve always been hesitant to attend a Father John Misty show because I just don’t know what to expect. Sure, his musical output is pretty stellar, but I read enough music news online to know that there’s always a chance that his mood will lead him to more rants than music. It’s totally his prerogative, but am I willing to risk buy tickets to a show when there may not be that much music? Thank the gods for music festivals.

Father John Misty 8/28/16 @ Fuck Yeah Fest. Setlist.Let me just go on record by saying that Father John Misty’s FYF performance exceeded my expectations. His haughty swagger was on full display, but it only accentuated the rock-star aura that he embodied on stage.

At first, I was nervous that his performance would be affected by the apparent technical malfunctions of his video background. Before and during the start of his set, the huge LED screen upstage had the Macintosh message failure, pop-up notice “Software Update Failed” notice projected on it. Eventually, the digital image was replaced with the solid black screen.

Mr. Tillman didn’t have any fancy digital graphics dancing behind him. He didn’t need them. His band’s washed out and layered sounds were full and driving, and Father John Misty was the rockstar that I had heard he could be. Jumping and gyrating on stage, venturing into the audience and taking fans’ cellphones to video record THEM, singing with a soulful passion that made it feel like he was being possessed by the spirits of classic rock legends from days gone by, and assuredly throwing his guitars offstage (which his guitar tech caught with one hand!), Father John Misty’s performance was pretty damn stellar.

A big, low booming voice behind me shouted, “I love you.” I turned around to see that a large, gym-rat of a man said those words, and honestly, I felt the bromance too. I liked Father John Misty’s music. Now, I was a fan of his live performance.

Father John Misty even got humorous on stage, as during “Bored In The USA” he pointed offstage and teased, “Let’s welcome Grace Jones to the stage.” After the audience gasped at the thought, Joshua looked off stage then waved it off. I got a good laugh out of that.

When he concluded his set, the dead screen lit up with a huge “Bonnaroo” logo. I’m assuming that this couldn’t have been a “malfunction”. I think that the digital “malfunctions” were all part of the show. I’m guessing that Father John Misty was just having some fun, and we all had some as well.

NOTE:  Upon closer inspection of subsequent photos post on social media, it looks like the “Software Update Failed” notice was in fact intentional as it was opened in “Preview”.

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