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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music

Photos + Review: The National, Father John Misty, Jenny Lewis @ Fort York

Photos by: Brendan Albert –

Review by: Curtis Sindrey –

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 04: The National performs at Fort York in Toronto on August 04, 2018. (Photo: Brendan Albert/Aesthetic Magazine)

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 04: The National performs at Fort York in Toronto on August 04, 2018. (Photo: Brendan Albert/Aesthetic Magazine)

The National performed at Toronto’s Fort York last night in what can best be described as a mini music festival.

Joined by opener, Father John Misty, and Jenny Lewis, the Brooklyn-based indie rockers took the crowd on a 20-song journey with songs that pierced through the late-summer air and tackled the band’s traditionally dark topics like the passing of time, death, and divorce.

“I like this fort,” said frontman Matt Berninger. “This is nothing like the fort I used to have. It was smaller and smelled of mold and Playboy magazines.”

But despite the dark subject matter, The National’s songs, especially live, always have that sense of uncontainedenergy, and with Berninger’s mix of sedated crooner and wild rock frontman, it gives the material an added oomph.

Father John Misty brought his usual wit and razor-sharp songwriting to the Fort York stage and showcased what is one of 2018’s best albums, God’s Favourite Customer.

Misty admitted early in his set that he was out of his comfort zone by not playing a hits-focused set. “I’m not playing a traditional, festival banger, greatest hits set,” said Misty. “I’m really out of my comfort zone.”

But looking as comfortable as ever, Misty swayed through a 19-song set that spanned nearly all of his studio albums, and with that you could pinpoint how far Misty has come from an indie folk outsider to an artist unafraid to experiment with any and all genres including: baroque pop, soft rock, and glam pop, and now creates beautiful multilayered tracks that sound big and bright whether you listen to them on headphones or live.

One particularly notable moment during Misty’s set was when indie rock vet Jenny Lewis joined him on new album title track “God’s Favourite Customer”, which makes fans yearn for more Lewis/Misty collaborations.

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The National
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Father John Misty
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Jenny Lewis
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