Review: The Tallest Man On Earth at Vicar Street 24/10/12

For anyone that has not seen Kristian Matsson, also known as The Tallest Man On Earth in person, his height may come as a shock to you. You quickly forgive him however, once his gravelly voice and lyrical beauty hit you.

Vicar Street’s stage looks far too big to play host to one man. Both The Tallest Man On Earth and the opening act Crooked Fingers seemed as if they would be dwarfed, standing there alone with their acoustic guitars. How very wrong I was.

Crooked Fingers quickly won over the crowd with his six song set and intricate guitar playing, so much so that Kristian Matsson himself paid him many a compliment during his own headline slot.

A sold out crowd of devoted fans anticipated a show, which clearly many of them had seen here before. From the moment The Swede walks on stage  he entranced the crowd with his passionate battered folk songs and charming witty humour, all the while interacting with the crowd. He waltzes around the stage with his guitar in hand, from time to time taking to his ’70s piano, “a fucking weird time” which “created a fucking weird piano” in his eyes.

A 19 song set enthralled the crowd, with Matsson playing clear fan favourites such as The Gardener and King of Spain, ending beautifully with an encore of The Wild Hunt and a breathtaking piano rendition of The Dreamer, with a cover of Paul Simon’s Graceland, falling in between the two tracks.

What makes The Tallest Man On Earth show so spectacular, is that Kristian actually looks like he’s having fun, interacting with the crowd, telling the stories behind the songs he’s written,  letting the crowd in on the fact that he’s “only allowed play two songs about birds per show” but that he has a new song in the works, which he has written that day. It isn’t ready for the live stage however, and he accepts gracefully, the over-dramatised boo’s from the crowd as he refused to play it. Explaining that he wasn’t there to “shit out music” for the audience, stating that “it all comes down to practice, practice, practice” before he can introduce his music to the world.

And well-practiced he is, the sold out show left many fans elated as they left the venue. The Tallest Man On Earth, came, played and won over an Irish crowd, with ease, once again.

Tallest Man On Earth Photo Gallery

Photos: Alessio Michelini