The Tallest Man on Earth's journey to his two-night run at NYC's Webster Hall on Thursday (3/10) and Friday (3/11) was plagued with misfortune — after first cancelling a US tour in the summer of 2019, he announced 2020 tour dates in support of his then-recent fifth album I Love You. It's A Fever Dream, only for those shows to be cancelled due to COVID-19. Two years later, we caught the Friday show as Kristian Matsson finally made his way back to his once-hometown of NYC, gleefully announcing upon his entrance onstage, "I've missed this city so much! You guys are a bunch of weirdos, just like me!"
Throughout the night, Matsson pulled together a career-spanning setlist, tearing through a mix of cuts from I Love You. It's A Fever Dream and tons of older gems. Cheers erupted across the room as Matsson began strumming the opening chords to "The Gardener" near the beginning of his set, as shard-like LED backdrops illuminated the stage. Matsson's presence in front of the crowd proved even more electrifying than the bright lights behind him, as he often leaped and bounced across the stage in-between verses, occasionally gazing outward into the audience. Songs indicative of this high energy included his performance of "1904," in which Matsson strummed on his guitar so passionately the cord broke off, grinding the song to a halt; or towards the end of "Love is All," where Matsson brought the already-powerful song to a close by laying down on the floor and flipping over whilst still strumming.
Aside from the impressive array of guitars he cycled through, Matsson also brought out his banjo for "Somewhere in the Mountains, Somewhere in New York," and sat down behind his piano for "There's No Leaving Now" and "I'm A Stranger Now." After closing his main set with an intense performance of fan favorite "The Dreamer," Matsson took the stage for a two-song encore, beginning with "The Wild Hunt," in which he led the entire audience in a sing-along, before closing the night with a tender, piano-based rendition of "Like The Wheel."
Before Matsson took the stage, folk project Daughter of Swords, aka Alexandra Sauser-Monnig (also of Mountain Man), played a set featuring tracks from her solo debut LP Dawnbreaker, during which she excitedly told the audience, "I don't have any records for sale [at the merch table] because they all sold out, which is crazy!" Daughter of Swords later joined Matsson onstage for a duet cover of The Velvet Underground's "I Found a Reason," as their respective voices lent themselves well to the song's overlapping vocal parts and harmonies.
The Tallest Man on Earth's US tour with Daughter of Swords continues at Philly's Union Transfer on Saturday (3/12), and hits cities like Chicago, LA, San Francisco, Milwaukee, and more. You can view fan-shot photos and videos, as well as the setlist from Friday's show, below.
Setlist – The Tallest Man on Earth @ Webster Hall 3/11/22
Wind and Walls
Dark Bird Is Home
A Lion's Heart
I Found a Reason (The Velvet Underground cover) (with Daughter of Swords)
There's No Leaving Now
The Running Styles of New York
I'll Be a Sky
Love Is All
King of Spain
Somewhere in the Mountains, Somewhere in New York
I'm a Stranger Now
The Wild Hunt
Like the Wheel