Father John Misty nearly upstaged the headliner last Monday at the Ogden Theatre. Known for his eccentricity, Joshua Tillman’s (lead for FJM) swiveling hips and eclectic performance provided for a charming interaction between the crowd and the strange, lithe singer (and former Fleet Foxes drummer). Tillman faked a southern accent for almost the entire set, and took frequent pulls from his handle of Maker’s. The crowd ate up his irreverent commentary and laughed throughout his comedic dancing that served as melodramatic punctuation for dark, folksy lyrics. FJM ended the set with “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings,” and enchanted FJM newbies and devotees alike, with his wonderfully weird and kitschy act.
Taking the stage with a far more serious and subtle tone, The Walkmen opened with the hauntingly beautiful piano-plinking “We’ve Been Had,” from their 2002 debut album Everyone Who Pretended To Like Me is Gone. Lead vocalist Hamilton Leithauser commandeered the stage with a steady gaze and the cool, confident swagger of a seasoned rock’n’roller. Crowd favorites included “Heaven,” and “We Can’t be Beat,” from their very well-received 2012 album, Heaven. The Walkmen have held their own with steady, heartwrenching rock for over a decade. Their power is in the slow release. You’re forced to wait for the melodies and the lyrics to reveal themselves. Like someone that takes a long time to get to know, but is all kinds of cool in a modest way. In two words: Grammy nom? C’mon. These guys are better than ever.