Father John Misty has elaborated on why he chose to deliver a speech instead of performing songs at a festival in New Jersey last week.
Misty was booked to appear at WXPN’s XPoNential Music Festival in Camden, New Jersey on Friday (July 22), but his set deviated from its usual format as the Maryland musician instead chose to give a lecture about “evil”.
As Pitchfork reports, Misty took to the stage and refused his guitar, opting instead to talk about the “numbing” role entertainment plays in people’s lives and how “stupidity just fucking runs the world.”
“I always thought that it was going to look way more sophisticated than this when evil happened,” Misty said from the stage. “When the collective consciousness was so numb and so fucking sated and so gorged on entertainment… How entertaining should this be right now with a fucking battleship in the background [of the festival] and this shit on TV, how fucking fun should this be? How fucking fun can it be? Can it be real in any sense? Like, I cannot play ‘Bored in the USA’ for you right now. No no no, because guess what? I soft-shoed that shit into existence by going, ‘No no no, look over here, it’ll never actually be that bad because we’re too smart.’ And while we were looking in that direction, stupidity just fucking runs the world because entertainment is stupid! Do you guys realize that?”
The singer/songwriter then performed a Leonard Cohen cover and a new, improvised song before exiting the stage.
Misty addressed his speech yesterday (July 24) in a two-part Instagram post that explained his state of mind at the time, referencing US Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio last week as the reason for the change in performance. Read the statement below.
Watch fan-shot footage of Misty’s speech at the festival below.