June 16, 2012

Reviewed: The Tallest Man on Earth

Photo by Andrew Hanson

I made the three hour trek from San Diego to Los Angeles last Tuesday, and though sitting through LA traffic during rush hour is always painful, my soul was healed by the amazing man I had traveled to see, Kristian Matsson. Matsson (known by the moniker "The Tallest Man on Earth") performed a sold-out show at the Wiltern the day after his new album, There's No Leaving Now, was released.

I'm generally not keen on sit-down shows, but this was a whole different caliber of performance. Sparse, yet subtly powerful; his voice is that much more beautiful and raw live. Every tune, from his more recognizable singles to brand new songs, was engaging and dynamic, constantly highlighting Matsson's immense musical talent. Matsson embodied a kind of nervous energy on stage, meandering around with his guitar and emphatically throwing his pick away after every song. His deep, gravely voice matched nicely with his dry sense of humor, and though much of his mumbling was rather prosaic, the crowd didn't care. The audience was in love, whistling and shouting compliments to Matsson between songs; at one point he sarcastically asked, "Did you guys pay money just to yell things?"

The Tallest Man kept us all bewitched by his music, even during the quieter tunes. Matsson's two song encore included a piano version of "The Dreamer," full of emotion with a silent, captivated audience. For his final song, "Thrown Right At Me," his wife Amanda Bergman, a fellow Swedish singer-songwriter, came out and sang with him. An intimate, beautiful end to a perfect night, with two standing ovations by the crowd.
Check out his extensive tour dates below!


06/19 – New York, NY @ Town Hall
06/20 – New York, NY @ Town Hall
07/01 – Paddock Wood, UK @ Hop Farm Festival
07/03 – London, UK @ Hackney Empire
07/04 – Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
07/06 – Berlin, DE @ Lido
07/07 – Dachau, DE @ Dachauer Musiksommer
07/23 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
07/24 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
07/25 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom
07/26 – Washington, DC @ 930 Club
07/28 – Danbury, CT @ Heirloom Arts Theatre
07/29 – Newport, RI @ Newport Folk Festival
07/30 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
08/01 – Pittsburgh PA @ Hazlett Theatre
08/02 – Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center
08/04 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/05 – Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater
08/06 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
08/17 – Hasselt, Belgium @ Pukkelpop
08/18 – Wales, UK @ Green Man Festival
10/04 – Madrid, ES @ Joy Slava
10/05 – Barcelona, ES @ Casino de l’Aliancia
10/08 – Zurich, CH @ Klaufleuten
10/09 – Torino, IT @ Spazio 211
10/10 – Roma, IT @ Chiesa Evangelica Metodista
10/11 – Ravenna, IT @ Almagia
10/12 – Brescia , IT @ Foyer Teatro Grande
10/14 – Vienna , AT @ WUK
10/15 – Berlin, DE @ Helmathanfen
10/17 – Hamburg, DE @ Kampnagel
10/18 – Cologne, DE @ Live Music Hall
10/19 – Zwolle, NL @ Theater Odeon de Spiegel
10/20 – Utrecht, NL @ MC Vredenburg
10/23 – Bristol, UK @ Colston Hall
10/24 – Dublin, IE @ Vicar Street
10/25 – Belfast, IE @ Mandela Hall
10/27 – Edinburgh, UK @ Picturehouse
10/28 – Manchester, UK @ The Ritz
10/29 – Brighton, UK @ St. Bartholmew Church

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