On Saturday Faith and I moseyed up Spadina to the El Mocambo to check out The Tallest Man on Earth, the last of the show tickets we bought for April, (we’ve since extended our live music plans slightly). We were both a little out of sorts for this performance; neither of us were bringing our A game after Friday night’s Lou Dawgs anniversary party, but I digress.
The best nights always come from the lowest expectations. We rolled into the El Mocambo right before Kristian Matsson a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth took the stage. We missed opening band Nurses, which was unfortunate but sometimes whiskey comes first. (I’m sure they were great though because the crowd was pretty wound up) We grabbed our 50s and Jamesons, found a clear spot and fell clear under the spell of TMOE.
From the first song to the closing encore, Kristian had our full attention (save a few douchebag gabbers in the back bar). Playing songs from his new album The Wild Hunt and a few favourites off of Shallow Grave, there were no lulls or off-putting moments. Before playing a quiet song he’d almost apologetically let us know that the next one was going to be quiet so…and then we’d all Shhh each other and listen close.
If you watch the NPR Tiny Desk video you’ll get a sense of his stage presence. It’s huge and he really isn’t. He’ll repeatedly lock eyes with the audience as if to say “I mean it”. It’s funny because the first time I listened to TMOE, I wasn’t a fan. I thought he was a Dylan try-hard. Then I listened again. And again. And now I’m a full-on fan with the vinyl version of Shallow Grave which, btw, is the coolest record because it’s WHITE (pic below).
Personal highlights include: I Won’t Be Found (my fave), The Gardener, You’re Going Back, King of Spain and Pistol Dreams.
Next up: The Barr Brothers (!!) with Plants and Animals on April 20