Last night bought Sweden’s The Tallest Man on Earth to The Pageant here in St Louis for a wonderfully intimate performance to an adoring crowd. I almost didn’t make it to the show as I was meeting up with some friends for some outdoor summer fun at the city’s botanical gardens. But those plans quickly got crimped as rain and thunderstorms came to St Louis, and I decided at the last minute to go see The Tallest Man instead.
And boy, I am glad I did. The Tallest Man on Earth is Kristian Matsson and he is known for his exceptional guitar picking skills. If you think seeing just a guy and a guitar for a show would be boring, you haven’t seen The Tallest Man in action then. Even though he’s just playing by himself and he’s only using a single guitar, Mattson easily filled the room with a full sound. Whether through booming strums or through meticulous finger picks, the songs that Mattson creates seem to just come alive and grab the listener.
And The Tallest Man himself is a very interesting performer. Hunched over and staring intensely at the crowd, Mattson makes full use of his bare stage which has no props beside a chair and a few amps. He would continually pick the guitar while marching to either end of the platform. There’s a forcefulness to his movements that can’t help but make you intrigued in watching him. I really, really enjoyed this show and I’m glad it rained.
Philadelphia’s Strand of Oaks started the night off right with a steady blend of sad songs before ending their set with some inspired guitar playing.
Check out the few photographs I took from the show below as well as a video I recorded of The Tallest Man playing 1904.