Tallest Man on Earth
photos + words by Britton Strickland
Among all the chaos of the upcoming NFL Draft plaguing our streets (or what streets that are not barricaded), Nashville trekked downtown to the historic Ryman Auditorium for a peaceful night with Kristian Mattson, the small Swedish voice behind The Tallest Man on Earth.
Our expectations were high following the release of his new album “I Love You. It’s a Fever Dream” that release earlier that day on Good Friday. “I don’t mean to disrespect Jesus, but what a great day to be alive,” Matsson shared on his accompanying Instagram post. His apartment recordings made its way to the former stage of the Grand Ole Opry and erupted from an enthusiastic solo show worthy of the venue. “I will play my heart out tonight,” and he sure did.
The performance was one of a kind. A few pillar-shaped light fixtures illuminated the stage as Matsson ran across while playing at maximum capacity. There was no exuberant band accompaniment, but the nearly 2 hour performance was full with contagious energy that filled the pews.
I highly anticipated this show after he released several home videos with his new singles, several of which were coupled into an EP released last year. The songs felt slightly familiar but in a completely new light, maybe because of visual accompaniment. But his latest release brings to life his evolving sound, incorporating new instruments like the harmonica. As he washanded it on stage, an audience member shouts “Oh snap,” as we were all ready to hear the new material.
We hummed along to the new songs and celebrated renditions of older tunes. I was a little disappointed I didn’t get to hear all the new songs live, but he was sure to play everyone’s favorites as well as a cover of “Say A Little Prayer.” He also mentioned a possible visit to the neighboring honky tonks, but the chilling rain swept me back home satisfied.
The Tallest Man on Earth continues to make his rounds around the states before heading overseas. Be sure to catch him on his numerous tour dates found at www.thetallestmanonearth.com, and find his new album on your favorite platform.
To Just Grow Away
I Won't Be Found
All I Can Keep Is Now
The Running Styles of New York
I Say a Little Prayer
Little Nowhere Towns
Love Is All
Forever Is a Very Long Time
Time of the Blue
Somewhere in the Mountains, Somewhere in New York
I'm a Stranger Now
There's a Girl
Like the Wheel
King of Spain
Waiting for My Ghost
The Wild Hunt
The Winner Takes It All / Kids on the Run