out and about: tallest man on earth
    • THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2010

    • Posted by:

    Last week our far-flung correspondent from Chicago saw TMOE, and she sent me a few words on it yesterday afternoon. Although the space-time continuum ate the week in between the show and her sending it, we're posting anyway.

    Tallest Man on Earth packed Chicago's Park West last Wednesday night with an incredibly devoted crowd, calmly foaming at the mouth as they waited for him to take the stage. When he stepped into the spotlight, towering at a mind-blowing 5'9"ish (thought I'd get the height joke out of the way early on), his singularly impressive picking was so effortless it truly looked like finger-syncing.

    Even though I had been warned by David Pitz's words on TMOE's show last spring, I was a little thrown off by his charisma. He seemed utterly comfortable on stage, encouraging the occasional audience sing-along and filling the dead space while adjusting to another far-out tuning with some light banter, behavior at odds with the rough, lonely voice in his records, which you might visualize trapped on a broad windswept plane. He responded enthusiastically to the guy who was yelling "F*CK YEAH" at the top of his lungs at least once per song, and worked a few curses of his own into the tunes, met by hilarious/adorable/a-little-uncalled-for audience excitement. All that said, Matsson was plenty abashed at times, mumbling something unintelligble ending with "...I mumble all the time, I'll make it up to you," telling us not to buy his EP, and thanking us for being "so nice," since "I'm not that good, y'know?"

    While some of the mystery may have been lost in the Tallest Man's affable nature, he brought with it an extra bit of fervor that added even more soul to his powerfully gritty voice. He left the first line of the choruses in "Pistol Dreams" to the audience, who were so enraptured they were already belting it when he dropped out, and of course energy surged higher when he jumped back in. His rendition of "King of Spain" was another powerful one, the desperation of his royal ambitions all the more tangible with his live energy, prompting one fan to shout "you are!" (the king). Maybe not. But he's probably cooler than this dude (irrelevant).

    His new tracks keep in line perfectly with the older albums, his by-no-means-monotonous consistency probably somewhat responsible for his loyal fan base. Halfway through his new EP's "Like A Wheel" all the sound coming from stage right cut out, leaving inner ear equilibrium imbalanced but suddenly creating a much more intimate setting that felt like an escape from the charisma that startled us all — maybe because Matsson's voice, rather than being a surround-sound all-encompassing force was coming from one direction, more like the one-on-one serenade experience you'd expect. After he told us to sway with him for a bit and we obliged, he apologized for "breaking the place" and after some stealthy movements in the wings technology resumed its job.

    After bringing a beautiful and beautiful-sounding woman on stage to harmonize one of his final tunes, Matsson thanked the city for Chicago and left for a minute before returning for his heavily demanded encore. Bringing it to a close with "Lion's Heart" and "This Wind," plus one excitingly unfamiliar song, Tallest Man on Earth left the crowd with a slightly altered but none weakened idea of the man behind the music.A primarily folk musician who can really rock a live show is an impressive and powerful thing, and the Tallest Man's combination of slightly unsettling magnetism, slightly comforting elusiveness,and perfect rawness brings it together just right. -selden paterson

    TMOE on Tour
    09/30 - Northampton, MA - Pearl Street Nightclub
    10/01 - Somerville, MA - Somerville Theater w/ S.Carey
    10/02 - Philadelphia, PA - Theater of the Living Arts w/ S. Carey
    10/03 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club w/ S. Carey
    10/12 - Copenhagen, DK - Vega
    11/11 - Malmo, Sweden - Debaser
    11/12 - Groningen, Netherland - Vera
    11/13 - Kln, Germany - Gebaude 9
    11/14 - Frankfurt, Germany - Das Belt
    11/15 - St Gallen, Switzerland - Palace
    11/16 - Fribourg, Switzerland - Fri-Son
    11/17 - Grenoble, France - Le Ciel
    11/18 - Basel, Switzerland - Volkshaus
    11/19 - Mullhouse, France - Noumatrouff
    11/20 - Brussels, Belgium - Botanique (Orangerie)
    11/22 - Glasgow, UK - Stereo
    11/23 - Belfast, UK - Mandela Hall
    11/24 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
    11/25 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
    11/26 - Manchester, UK - St Phillips Church
    11/28 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Le Guess Who?
    11/29 - Paris, France - Cafe de la Danse
    11/30 - Bordeaux, France - Le Krakatoa Club
    12/02 - Barcelona, Spain - Razmataz 2
    12/03 - San Sebastian, Spain - Lugaritz
    12/06 - Stockholm, Sweden - Soedra Teatern (seated)
    12/07 - Stockholm, Sweden - Soedra Teatern (seated)
    12/08 - Helsinki, Finland - Le Bonk
    12/09 - Oslo, Norway - Parkteatret


    * * * * * * * * * * * *
    MP3: "Like the Wheel"
    The Tallest Man on Earth on Myspace
    Hot Baeble Videos
    Tom Walker live at Baeble HQ

    Tom Walker live at Baeble HQ

    Overcoats live at Industry City

    Overcoats live at Industry City

    Emily Warren live at Baeble HQ

    Emily Warren live at Baeble HQ

    Alvarez Kings live at Baeble HQ

    Alvarez Kings live at Baeble HQ

    Clean Bandit live at Atlantic Records Recording Studio

    Clean Bandit live at Atlantic Records Recording Studio

    Live It Up

    Live It Up

    Irontom live at Industry City

    Irontom live at Industry City

    Computer Games  live at Baeble HQ

    Computer Games live at Baeble HQ

    XXX 88 ft Diplo

    XXX 88 ft Diplo

    Jasmine Thompson live at Atlantic Records Recording Studio

    Jasmine Thompson live at Atlantic Records Recording Studio

    © 2017 Baeble Media. All rights reserved.