Sunday, November 11, 2012

Father John Misty & La Sera: Lincoln Hall - Chicago - October 30 LIVE REVIEW

In the city of Chicago, if you're going to see a live concert, the experience is going to be based heavily on the venue of said entertainment. The venues can go from just plain off-putting (i.e. The Congress and their intense security presence and horrible sound) to incredibly enjoyable (for example, The Metro on the city's north side). Lincoln Hall in the heart of the Lincoln Park area of the city, has quickly grown to be my favorite venue in the city, if not the entire Midwest region. The sound is great, the drinks and food are reasonably priced, and the layout of the venue is perfect, with a wrap-around balcony that leaves no bad spot to watch/listen in the house.

Jeffertitti's Nile
On the day before Halloween this year, Lincoln Hall welcomed Father John Misty and La Sera (with special guest Jeffertitti's Nile) for a sold out show. Being that it was Halloween eve, there were a few people dressed up in attire, but this wasn't going to be a costume ball (go to the Congress for that).

The opening act, Jeffertitti's Nile was spectacular; their attire just as varied as their sound. The act proved to be another suitor in the ever-expanding independent alternative music scene, and featured Father John Misty frontman, Josh Tillman, on drums. His previous experience drumming with Fleet Foxes proved to be useful, although this music was a little more demanding of a capable drummer.

La Sera
La Sera graced the stage next, as more and more people began to filter in to the main area of the venue. Her sound was filled with much more excitement and enthusiasm than is left to be heard on her sophomore album Sees The Light. Even the slower tracks featured a more electric sound to them, resonating more of a Pop Punk vibe than I expected to hear. La Sera was fun and bright, playing along with friendly banter from the crowd, and acknowledging the stereotypical "I Love You" shouts from a few of the crowd's male patrons. I was especially pleased with her performance of "Real Boy", "Break My Heart" and "Drive On" - three of my favorite tracks off the newest album. I was reminded of a Smith Westerns meets Rilo Kiley style of stage presence and performance, with front-woman Katy Goodman sipping on (what I believe was) whiskey and smiling gracefully in between songs.

Up next, after a short set break, was Father John Misty, which featured multiple members of the first group, Jeffertitti's Nile as contributing members behind Josh Tillman.

To be honest, it's hard to believe Josh Tillman wasn't a front man from birth, and it's reasonably easy to see why he took the opportunity to head his own group. His charisma and comedic banter between songs killed me, and his hip movements and stage presence would make Jim Morrison blush and got many members of the audience swooning where they stood.

The humorous thing about Tillman is his affection for being inebriated  Videos have surfaced online featuring Tillman either drinking whisky, smoking marijuana, or even singing karaoke whilst on acid (a rousing version of "I Believe I Can Fly" can be found on YouTube). But with this notion can often come nervousness for a member of the audience. Bands (or members of them) can become so distractingly fucked up on stage that it can really ruin a show - Smith Westerns and Alkaline Trio come to mind as the biggest culprits.

Father John Misty

But with Tillman (and fellow members), his inebriation was never a distraction. In fact, if anything it helped him let loose on some songs. At one point, Tillman walked around stage spouting hilarious quips with his band members, then realized it and said "I got too high backstage and now I'm aimlessly talking to the band..." which drew a large amount of cheers and laughs. The star of the show was undoubtedly Tillman; his falsetto in "Nancy From Now On" and "Fun Times In Babylon" gave me goosebumps and "Hollywood Cemetery Forever Sings" played more like a jarring rock song than it allows to be heard on headphones. The band closed out with a medley of covers including "Nevertheless, I'm In Love With You" (Dean Martin) and an awesome rendition of Canned Heat's "On The Road Again" into "Green Onions" by Booker T & The MGs.

Below you will find some photographs I snatched while covering the show. You can see the full album over at our Facebook page!

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