Photo Gallery: Father John Misty / Tennis at CrossroadsKC

Father John Misty. Photo by Christian Hardy.
With unwavering cynicism and exuberant confidence, Father John Misty brought an all-encompassing set to CrossroadsKC on Sunday for his fourth Kansas City performance in three years.

The set included a good chunk of each of Father John Misty's three albums, with a focus on his newest, "Pure Comedy," an album that criticizes much of the world around us in which Father John Misty takes listeners on long, winding rants about his fellow humans. The performance of the album could almost be taken as spoken-word poetry, as Josh Tillman relayed a similar cadence through each song, with a grand piano, drums, and guitars backing him.

Through the set, Tillman was about as cool as and confident as a human can possibly be, which is one unmistakable piece of Father John Misty's performances. First, with his stride onto stage — drink in hand, ruffled white shirt over skin-tight black pants, hair pushed back. Then, as his opener "Pure Comedy" hits its stride, his smooth dance and slight, determined hand gestures take over. His cadence is catchy, and so are his witty lines between songs, touching on anything from social media to the his pants zipper to Game of Thrones. On a few occasions he lit a cigarette on stage, then, when he decided it was time, he smashed it under his leather Chelsea boot mid-song. I mean, come on, this guy is incredibly cool and he's fully aware of that fact. Maybe Ryan Adams isn't wrong on every front.

Recently-popularized beef with alt-country counterpart Ryan Adams were addressed head-on after three songs when a fan shouted, "Ryan Adams sucks." Tillman talked back, "He does... you have to sort of suck to do this whole thing," essentially comparing himself to Tillman. It didn't come up again, though some fans groaned about Adams later in the set.

Though some moments of Father John Misty's performance of "Pure Comedy" came across dry during a 90-minute set, he pumped life into crowd with performances of "Real Love Baby," "Chateau Lobby #4," and "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings."

Denver-based band Tennis opened for Father John Misty. The husband-wife duo played a short, straight-forward set packed with tracks from its 2017 record, "Yours Conditionally." Lone-vocalist Alaina Moore's delicate voice played well in what was a sweet, cheerful performance which stayed true to the band's sound.

Full photo gallery here.


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