posterThe Tallest Man on Earth Setlist
09/02/15 Columbus, OH Newport Music HallRead More
09/03/15 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
09/04/15 Toronto, ON Massey Hall
09/05/15 Holland, MI Knickerbocker Theater
09/05/15 Holland, MI Hope College
09/07/15 Columbia, MO The Blue Note
09/08/15 Wichita, KS Orpheum Theatre
09/09/15 Tulsa, OK Cain's Ballroom
09/10/15 Tulsa, OK Cain's Ballroom
09/11/15 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
09/12/15 Houston, TX House Of Blues
09/13/15 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Live
10/03/15 Oslo, Norway Oslo Opera House
10/04/15 Goteborg, Sweden Konserthuset
10/05/15 Stockholm, Sweden Cirkus
10/06/15 Umea, Sweden Idunteatern
10/08/15 Linkoping, Sweden Konsert & Kongress
10/09/15 Falun, Sweden Magasinet
10/10/15 Aarhus, Denmark Fonden VoxHall
10/12/15 Cologne, Germany E-Werk
10/13/15 Berlin, Germany Huxleys Neue Welt
10/14/15 Vienna, Austria Arena Vienna
10/15/15 Milan, Italy Alcatraz
10/16/15 Zurich, Switzerland Volkshaus
10/17/15 Paris, France Le Bataclan
10/19/15 London Roundhouse
10/20/15 Glasgow ABC1
10/21/15 Dublin, Ireland Vicar Street
10/23/15 Manchester Albert Hall
10/24/15 East Sussex De La Warr Pavilion
10/25/15 Brussels, Belgium Ancienne Belgique
10/27/15 Copenhagen, Denmark VEGA
Just seventeen days prior, a 30 x 30’ piece of the 1930’s-era ceiling on the venerable First Avenue club fell down, injuring five and forcing them to close to tear out the remainder and safely refurbish the venue. The ceiling itself is now more exposed, with more pipes and beams showing, all painted black, with sounds carrying and bouncing around a touch more, though all still clear and well-mixed.
Despite his slightly oddly named stage moniker, Swedish singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson stands only at 5’ 7” (coincidentally same height as Bob Dylan) and he and his band became the first touring act to reopen First Avenue since the ceiling collapse, playing a 90 min. headlining set to a near-capacity packed crowd.
Matsson’s sound and musical vision has expanded courtesy of this new and most personal work, chronicling his recent divorce and death of a close family member; but he gratefully doesn’t take it to “Iron and Wine” heights, whose touring members numbered more than Pink Floyd’s live show, the last time they were here.
‘1904’ written “about and in Minneapolis” from Matsson’s previous album, got warm applause, though it’s never been revealed if it’s about the tornado that year or something else, but Matsson himself proved to be a fierce tornado; usually singing a verse then darting away to stumble to one side of the stage or the other, strumming wildly. While many hip-hop MCs end with “dropping a mic”, Matsson has a habit of spiking his guitar pick in celebration, putting the exclamation point on each of his songs, and making the need to have a stack of picks on a side amplifier.
Matsson’s on stage fragility was evident when he responded with doubt to cries of “I love you”, mistook a “woo” for a “boo”, and warned the crowd he would only play soft and low if they continued to talk, which thankfully resulted in polite shushing by people for the rest of the set.
‘Singers’ was a song about Matsson’s grandfather, ‘Darkness of the Dream’ uses the same brooding synth sound from Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up the Hill’, and Matsson hasn’t forgotten his own solo roots, letting the band go (which includes Bon Iver/P.O.S. collaborator and falsetto background vocalist Mike Noyce) for a mid-set string of three solo songs.
“Sad songs only…on the ticket, I know”, Mattson mused, as each rustic folk number seemed to be pinned with an undercurrent of sadness, even the more uptempo ones like ‘Timothy’ about his “best friend ever”, who was with Matsson last time here, though was not this time.
‘Sagres’ has a very Dylan/Bon Iver feel, perhaps the result of finishing the new album’s songs in Wisconsin, and is one that local station The Current, has embraced for airplay. Noyce joined Matsson on stage for a pair of duo songs- ‘Little Nowhere Towns’ which had Matsson move to keyboard and featured Noyce’s high harmonies, and the contemplative ‘Where Do My Bluebird Fly’.
The Tallest Man on Earth takes a bow
The Tallest Man on Earth at First Avenue, Minneapolis (29 August 2015)