LIVE REVIEW: The Tallest Man on Earth @ the Fillmore 9-13
It’s Monday night at the Fillmore and the auditorium is buzzing. Not for the opener S. Carey but for The Tallest Man on Earth, the moniker for the 5′ 9” Swedish singer songwriter Kristian Matsson (pictured below).
To categorize Kristian as a singer-songwriter is completely limiting. His vocals are raw and chilling, making his poetic lyrics completely inescapable and seem like you’re watching history in the making. From the first time I listened toÂ Tallest Man on Earth, I drew quick comparisons to a young Bob Dylan. Much like a late 1960′s Dylan, Matsson plays by himself and writes songs from the trenches of his soul. As a single man show, Matsson’s energy never let up during his Fillmore set.
Wearing a shirt representing his home of Dalarna, Sweden, Matsson approaches the microphone cautiously a few songs into his set to say “I’m just a musician, so I don’t really know what to say here.” The audience cheers. No one came to listen to stories tonight, we’re here to absorb the music, voice, and words of TMOE.
Normally when you have a one man band playing for an hour, most audiences would become bored or leave whenever they felt they had their fill. Not this Monday. After his last song (during which Matsson integrated Sade lyrics), the almost full Fillmore erupts. Cheers of “come back” and stomping on the floor ensues for just a minute before Kristian quietly tunes his guitar, the crowd hushes, and a single “Thank You” from him only seems to stir the crowd into another fury.
Overall, this was an eye opening experience for this “once upon a musician” turned writer. Never have I seen a single artist perform so well for so long. And never have I seen such a crowd crave more from a one man band. Even though it was a Monday, I’m pretty sure that every single person would’ve stayed to the wee hours of the morning just to hear one more song from this gifted Swede.
Opening in support of Tallest Man on Earth was S. Carey, the drummer ofÂ Bon Iver turned solo frontman. Quiet and soft his songs are very reminiscent of Justin Vernon’s “cabin rock-like” genre. Multiple layers flowed through a band of four, and Carey’s soft musings fell quickly on a crowd which mostly had never heard his music before. Many TMOE fans found themselves swaying to Carey’s songs about falling in love, off his latest record All We Grow.
If you’ve never heard of either of these artists and good looking dudes that can sing and write a pretty song are your thing, make sure you check them out, immediately.