Concert file: Jason Isbell and Father John Misty at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA

Last Saturday we took our daughter to see one of hers, and our, favorite acts – Father John Misty at the Greek. This was the second time all three of us saw him there, and the third time my wife and I saw him. The first was in LA at the Wiltern on tour for “Honey Bear, I Love You.”

Of the three times we’ve seen him, this last concert was more subdued and shorter. He had some fun new twists on his older songs. For example there was a guitar solo instead of horns in “Chateau Lobby #4”, and an explosive surprise in the middle of “Holy Shit.”

Missing was the great light show, and time for more of his songs. I still think he put on a great show, but this wasn’t just his tour. He’s out on the road with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit alternating between headlining and opening. Both acts split their time evenly, so it’s neither is really an opening act.

I’ve been wanting to see Jason Isbell for a while. He comes through here at least once a year, and with other interesting acts. Last year, he opened for Aimee Mann at the Greek. In some ways he’s more of an anomaly than Father John Misty. He looks and sounds like he should be doing straight-to-Ford-F-150 commercial country. Instead his stuff is more about American shittiness than exceptionalism. He’s definitely a woke white king, which must be hard in the circles he travels in outside of Berkeley.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that was Blake Shelton from where I was sitting.

Not only is he a pretty deep and thoughtful songwriter, he plays a pretty mean. He took the lead on many of his songs including a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tell Me All the Things You Do.”

The only minor disappointment of the evening was neither played my favorite songs. Every time the guitar tech got out his Les Paul, I thought, finally he’s going to play “Super 8” but nope. Father John didn’t play “Idea Husband” either, which I was expecting in his encore.

As much as I think it’s cool these two artists seem to be touring as buds, I’d rather go to two separate concerts and hear more of each artist’s deeper catalog.