Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Tallest Man on Earth, Paradiso 4 July 2012

On the 4th of July 2012, a music paradox occurred. Two potentially fantastic shows were being played simultaneously in Amsterdam; one being Metric and the other The Tallest Man on Earth. I had already locked myself into seeing TTMOE before Metric were even announced, as the last couple of times I had seen him had been phenomenal. That being said, the one time I had seen Metric was also very memorable and they bring a real energy to their performance.

So really the decision had already been made…..and back into the breach once more I would go, spending the evening watching just one man perform to a sellout crowd, in a performance that at times is like something bargaining for a soul…… Welcome to The Tallest Man on Earth.

I don’t think I would actually be that surprised if Kristian Matsson, better known as The Tallest Man on Earth, jumped off stage mid performance and thrust his guitar into someone chest. Or, if large angel like wings appeared from his shoulder blades whilst playing guitar, rising him up above the stage and then he flew off, smashing through the stain glass window and flying into the night.

Yes I know that both of these things will probably not happen (well, not tonight at least) but it is that ere of possibility not plausibility that I love when I see this guy. He is quirky, captivating, emotive and brilliant.

Furthermore I can count on one hand the number of concerts that I have been to where the performer has the crowd so captivated that they are transfixed on their every move. Moreover he has the crowd transfixed on the fact that he is going to leave nothing behind when he performs. There are moments where he looks out into the crowd and he may be about to cry, and the way he thanks them really feels like it is from his heart, from his inner being. Something that so many performers have forgotten; that in the blink of an eye “this can all be gone”. As usual he has brought along his finest set of intense, focused, crazy eyes as well.

Tonight the lights go out, the crowd cheers and the beast arrives on stage. He is a muscular small Swede who appears rather complex, as if he has some inner fight occurring for his soul, and every now and then you catch a glimpse of that smile…. is the Devil or God winning that round? Well he sounds so beautiful, so I think this round goes to God, I think more than once.

It is just him up onstage, guitar in hand and a plastic chair to sit on. He powers through the set, he becomes covered in sweat stopping only to wipe it away at the end of each song. And the raw emotion of the performance captivates me, this guy appears to be giving everything he has to this performance, as he did last time and the time before. He finger picks and plays the hell out of an array of guitars, making them all scream, and cry, then he flips to a more happy side, the one that makes you tap your foot and wish you could strum the guitar like him.

It is simple, but brilliant, it is pure power and emotion that resonates in the air and it feels like it makes time stands still. He takes me to a place far away and what was amazing about this performance was that the crowd are respectful and they are here to listen to the new songs as much as the old. Checking out You tube hits from that show the song that has gone through the roof is Criminals, it’s simple and one I didn’t think would get such notoriety, and that probably explains a bit about him too.

So will he ever jump of the stage, into the crowd and kill someone, well probably not, but does he look like he might, yes he does.

Each time I have seen him play he has always displayed the same set of eccentricities, in fact at times throughout the shows they are exacerbated more. Tonight he is at an even keel level, and the songs are magical beautiful.

Well he is certainly not only the tallest man on this stage, he is in fact a god in my church tonight.


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