Live Review | Father John Misty and La Sera at Paradise Rock Club

Photos by Boston Concert Photography

[L]ast Thursday the Music Savage gang converged on Paradise Rock Club to catch the mystical, dancing-machine otherwise known as Father John Misty, aka J. Tillman. To watch this performance and not shake it yourself is an exercise in futility, and a look around the club proved that nobody was resisting the urge to follow the lanky ringleader in all his spastic glory.

The set began with “Fun Times in Babylon,” which is also how the album Fear Fun begins, and the crowd sang along with their hands in the air, as if being preached to from the alter of cool. Tillman’s stage presence, and his rapport with the crowd, comes across instantly rather than taking a few songs to kick in. The Misty moves came out for “Only Son of the Ladiesman,” and as Tillman sang “I’m a steady hand/I’m a Dodger’s fan/I’m a leading brand/I’m a one-night stand/I’m a ladies man” it was clear that he was everyone’s man that night, even if he was surrounded by Sox Nation.

When a musician is having a good time on stage the whole night is that much better. I have been to many a show where the band is just there to get through the night as quickly as possible and hit the road to oblige the next city’s audience with their presence. That type of attitude was nowhere to be found this evening as Tillman enthusiastically conversed with the crowd and even flirted with one of the cute bartenders from the stage, dedicating “Misty’s Nightmares 1 & 2” to her, singing “Now I’m watching you changing in the mirror/And I’m unable to move”…. wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more.

After a rather silly discussion on the idea of a pizza place in Canada called Boston Pizza, and the ensuing high-five captured in the image above, the band kicked into “This is Sally Hatchet” which turned all attention to Tillman’s extreme tamborine man perosona. I swear the band must travel with a suitcase full of them for the lead man to destroy. Tillman, tamborine in hand, closed the evening’s set with everyone’s favorite “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” and when the drum beat kicked in the crowd sang, “Je-ee-ee-ee-ee-sus Christ Girl/What are people gonna think,” louder than the songwriter. The smile on his face could be seen from every corner of the club. He had come back to Boston, played nearly every song on his debut album, returned to the stage for an encore of cover songs, and could have stayed on stage telling jokes all night. Attention all other touring acts…You are on notice.

The night’s other duel-monikered artist Katy Goodman, aka La Sera, took the stage beforehand and quickly got the audience bopping along to the sixties inspired, pop-punk tunes off her latest album, Sees the Light. Goodman has crafted her stage presence as a member of the popular Vivian Girls and is clearly comfortable moving from bassist in a band to the bass playing lead-singer of her own band. She tore through her new songs, as well as tracks from her debut, self-titled, La Sera album and left behind a crowd eager to have her back any old time she pleases.

Check out the great shots by Boston Concert Photography below.