August 1, 2015


Father John Misty's Lollapalooza Banter: 14 Amazing Quotes

Barry Brecheisen/WireImage
Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, has incredible songs bolstered by an impeccably acerbic wit. He's created a noteworthy reputation when it comes to his stage banter, so when he opened his Lollapalooza set with three songs without saying a word to the audience, everyone seemed kind of confused.

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The tension was palpable. What gives? Finally, after an opening salvo of "I Love You, Honeybear," "Strange Encounter," and "True Affection"—which all sounded fantastic—Tillman finally spoke.

"Sorry, my voice is gone. It's depressing. How's that for onstage banter?"

Well, that explained it. Dude seemed to be having trouble with his voice, a common affliction amongst vocalists amidst heavy festival cycles. It seemed like there were parts of songs he just wasn't singing, and his set was rife with apologies to the crowd.

By that point, though, he had broken the ice. The verbal floodgates were opened. Without further ado, here are the highlights of Tillman's bits on stage:

  • Looking across the field at the Bud Light Stage: "I look up, and I see that giant Bud Light sign. And I think, 'the show must go on.'"
  • "What do you want? Want a question and answer period? What would you like to know? I've never seen so many butts in my life."
  • "Your question is, 'do I want to get a brunch some time?' I don't eat brunch. I eat lunch twice."
  • "Oh, this is easy. This is too easy. Ok, I think I have more songs about my feelings."
  • In lieu of singing the first verse of "When You're Smiling And Astride Me," the band played on while Tillman riffed,  gazing upon an airplane pulling a Trojan Bare Skin Condom banner ad behind it: "What is a bare skin condom? [to his band] Seriously, keep going. If I have just bare skins, isn't that the total antithesis of a normal condom? Isn't Trojan just telling you to use your normal dick? I could sell that."
  • In response to the crowd cheering: "Shh! My feelings."
  • "Thanks for coming to Lollapalooza. Is everyone having a good time? Have people just been asking you how you're doing all day long?"
  • "Alright. I can like, hear the people watching the webcast switching their browser to pornhub. Someone at Lollapalooza headquarters is saying, 'I don't know what's going on. We are losing viewers at an unsustainable pace.'...I can also hear the sound of my festival guarantees going down."
  • "Tea, the world's most unhelpful beverage."
  • "The side stage is evacuating. That's always a good sign."
  • "You guys ready for a fucking ballad? That's what gets you the 2:30 PM slot. The fuckin ballads. Let's ratchet this shit up."
  • "I need the War on Drugs to put me outta my misery. Please, War on Drugs, come to the stage and play your hits."
  • After his last song: "Thank you. Sorry. Have fun."

That's nearly everything Tillman said throughout his hour-long set, which was goddamn incredible.