The University of Texas’ Bass Concert Hall welcomed two nights of indie folk singer/songwriter Father John Misty to promote his most recent musical manifesto, Pure Comedy.
Nouveau psychedelic folk act, Weyes Blood, opened for the Father, aptly complementing his musical sound and, too, catering to an artsier thinking crowd. Frontwoman Natalie Mering’s piercing vocals brought a haunting beauty to the night filling the concert hall with purity, power, and a sound comparative to a melancholy Joni Mitchell accompanied by more experimental sounds. Two sets of keys produced a number of somber church-like chords that resounded in a seemingly altered meditative state of deep self-reflection. The powerful slide guitar extended the feeling in her vocals hitting the listener’s heartstrings in an emotionally restorative release into serenity. She beautifully covered George Harrison’s transformative tune “Run of the Mill” among showcasing her work off of her Front Row Seat to Earth album.
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The eccentricity of Father John Misty somehow commands the listener to be present in the lyrics as he voices the truth, pain, and fear of the human condition and addresses the minds anxieties regarding it. He is an artist not mistaken, but awakened speaking the acrimonious truth through the art of anguish. FJM also performed a considerable amount of tracks off of his 2015 album, I Love You, Honeybear during his 20+ song set, including the poetic ballad of the fallacies of society – “Bored in the USA.” His persona undoubtedly captures the same “transcend the bullshit” message conveyed in “The Memo,” and though seemingly an art of anguish, his attuned to the truth musical ingenuity connects the audience in shared awareness. Misty ended the set with the lovingly cynical hit “I Love You, Honeybear” paraphrasing his underlying message running through most of his songs that “everything is doomed & nothing will be spared.”
The encore brought on a great deal of emotional power and feeling, extending the lyrical beauty that comes forth from an arduous mind. With the most dialog spoked during the entire show, and after shamelessly plugging the DSA present that night, Misty spoke to the audience of taking a “metamoment” to comment on the experience of being there. In an honest attempt at optimism he stated that it didn’t feel total useless. And the concertgoer experience wasn’t either as his self-proclaimed new age tunes of despair were both entertaining and thought provoking. It was apparent why a second show was added by popular demand – Austin welcomed this eccentric monikered musician with both open arms and open minds, sharing the serious absurdity that is Pure Comedy.
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