Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Live Review: Jason Isbell & Father John Misty 6/19/19 Prospect Park, Brooklyn NY

Jason Isbell & Father John Misty 
Live 6/19/19 
Prospect Park- Brooklyn NY

There has been a ton of rain in New York City this Spring and it poured all day Wednesday June 19th but while the clouds and some light sprinkles fell over the Prospect Park band shell Mother Nature thankfully held off from soaking the three quarter full crowd on this night. While Jason Isbell and Father John Misty's co-headlining tour did not sell out, the groups played strongly to the receptive audience.

Jason Isbell opened up this night as the players alternate on the tour and he and the 400 Unit oozed confidence as they delved into their collection of songs about recovery, broken homes, tough choices and even a cover. "Hope The High Road" opened things up with Isbell's slide guitar playing fantastic but a bit muted as the sound system caught up to the players. On the whole the volume was low this night, probably so the rich neighbors lining the park wouldn't complain, but eventually the sounds leveled off nicely. 

"White Man's World" had a great fiddle guitar duel from Amanda Shires and Sadler Vaden who also paired up for a closing jam, which included mallets on the drums and fluid bass runs during "Last of My Kind" which proved a set highlight. Another great tune was the glorious version of "Cover Me Up" which started as a duet before huge swells and powerfully gorgeous vocals from Isbell. There was some banter around his Star Is Born song "Maybe It's Time" and the group covered Fleetwood Mac on "Oh Well" but it was the delicate closer "If We Were Vampires" which showed the strength and nuance of the songwriter and band.

After a brief set break Father John Misty took to the stage in his blazer and pants, hands in pockets to serenade the crowd with "Hangout at the Gallows" around pumping horn work. His ten-piece backing band were fluid and nimble on the evening, at times providing dramatic backing to Misty's singing or laying in the background to allow his voice to shine.   

"Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings" had a good groove but allowed the guitars to get after it, all the while bathed in soothing red lighting while "Mr. Tillman" brought out huge cheers from the crowd when he hit the line, "Jason Isbell's here as well/And he seemed a little worried about you" but Isbell did not make a cameo.

Two of the major set highlights came back to back "Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins) included swelling drama as trumpets soared before he introduced "Please Don't Die" from the excellent God's Favorite Customer as "yet another song about death" but the harmonica work from Tillman, strumming guitars and warm increasing horns were life affirming.

Misty and company played two newer, unreleased songs, "Time Makes a Fool of Us All" which is pushed along with an 80's pulsing dance beat while "Tell It Like It Is" was a slow poetic piano ballad that started off slow but included beats and more harmonica work. 

The set wrapped up with Misty dancing with his microphone for "I Love You, Honeybear" before the encore of "I Went to the Store One Day" and "Date Night" ended an excellent night of music under the swelling clouds and darkening Brooklyn sky.
Support the acts, see the tour and peep some video below:

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