Father John lights up Melbourne

Father John Misty performs during Splendour in the Grass 2017 on July 21, 2017 Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

JOSH Tillman emerges from the darkness to a stage lit up like a sunrise. We are seated — yes, seated — and uncertain, like schoolchildren hauled into assembly or sinners at Sunday church.

The venue choice later becomes the topic of much debate among punters post-gig. And now the singer himself awkwardly acknowledges the formality of the Melbourne Recital Centre set-up. But somehow it seems right. We know we’re not here for a standard gig. When the former Fleet Foxes drummer takes the stage as Father John Misty it’s more than a concert; it’s theatre. It’s Tillman shimmying, sashaying, thrusting. Tillman falling to his knees. Tillman caressing a microphone stand, twirling it around his body, and throwing it to the ground before it snaps back up to his hand with one effortless kick. It’s his droll one-liners. Every song’s a self-contained act and Tillman the s…

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