PADRE JUAN MUSTY, January 8th, 2013, Firebird, Saint Louis, MO
Josh Tillman’s reincarnation as Father John Misty has been on the road non-stop since the release of Fear Fun back in April of 2012. It’s one of the few records released early last year which rewards new pleasures with each return listen. Misty and his hot band of merry men’s appearance in Saint Louis at the tiny rock club, Firebird, provided no indication they were leaving behind the road or planning a new record anytime soon. They played almost the entire record during it’s Firebird set-list with repeat encore songs from their Austin, TX, Parish pre-ACL gig this past October. However, there were surprises that the sold-out crowd will never forget–moist, slippery when wet surprises.
After kicking off with a sluggish–and still soulful as fuck–”Funtimes in Babylon” and dropping right into “Only Son of The Ladies Man”, Tillman and company evaporated before the crowd’s eyes. In the band’s place appeared some of St. Louis’ favorite rock, country and hip-hop artists: Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora, Eddie Vedder, Michael McCready, Nelly and Tim McGraw.
Picking up right where Misty and his mates left off, the veteran all-star band reinterpreted famous radio hits from their own catalog for the remainder of the night. Nelly and Vedder’s duet on “Jeremy” made pins drop all around me, while Sambora and McCready’s double edged sword solos battled for my gut during an extended “Living On A Prayer” jam. The standoff between my heart and soul went down stage right as McGraw and Jovi harmonized to a pitch-perfect rendition of Def Leppard’s “Love and Affection”. Though I would have preferred a Vedder / Nelly take on the Lep’s classic songs, “Hysteria” or “Photograph”, Jovi’s passion and the crowd’s response was good enough for the last swig of Schlafly’s Pale Ale.
Padre Juan and the Musty company dropped back down from the club’s ceiling to take back their instruments and eventually finish the night with a few personal live Misty favorites such as “Every Man Needs A Companion” and the 1931 hit (written by Ruby and Kalmar, recorded by Bing Crosby and many others), “Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You)”.
I recollected at least 48 hit songs being performed by Jovi and company at the end of the night, but if you add in the 13 songs that were performed by Misty’s six piece band, you would be correct to possibly think that this writer witnessed a historical night of live music at Firebird, STL.
Please know that I can’t remember how many songs the opening act Magic Trick performed. (If you were there and know, leave a comment below, thank you.)
Here’s a fan’s setlist (above right) that I found on the internet to help you visualize what I heard that night at the Firebird from Padre Juan, Benji Slowhand, and the rest of this great American band before I close up another article that five people will read on the world wide web sometime in the future. (NOTE: Many of the set list’s song titles are wrong and that’s ok because we live in such dark, dark times where few people actually run out and buy physical full-length records that are exciting to listen to as they are to hold and read like Misty’s Fear Fun.)
Father John Misty’s the best live band in America right now, and you should catch them in small club while you can. They’re currently on tour co-headlining with The Walkmen.
AW | Andy Whorehall
Andy Whorehall (SM)
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