As much as Josh Tillman took a roundabout way to get there, he fits nicely in the role of rock and roll frontman. Formerly the drummer for indie-folk sensations Fleet Foxes and a solo artist before that, Tillman brought his Father John Misty persona / band to Union Transfer last night for an electrifying, hour-long set, performing almost all of his debut LP Fear Fun, as well two well-received covers.
An immediate observation as Tillman and his four-piece backing band stepped to the stage – he had no instruments with him, short of a tambourine. His job tonight was to sing, to dance, to be the charismatic guy in the front of the pack. So he opened the set strutting and swaying to album opener “Fun Times in Babylon,” closed it twisting and writhing Iggy Pop / Michael Stipe style to the single “Holllywood Forever Cemetry SIngs.” Things got a bit dramatic on “Nancy from Now On,” when Tillman brought his microphone stand cracking down on his head during the lyric “I’ll be breaking things like Howard Hughes.” Later he cracked jokes about Instagram and smart phones (“buy minerals from drug lords, do whatever it takes to get that device in my hand”), and remarked that it was a rimshot-heavy evening. But then there was the performance – occasionally ostentatious, but always expressive and impressive. Continue reading →