The Tallest Man On Earth Played A Standout Show At The Wiltern
Not only did he play to a sold-out show at the Wiltern, his newest album, "There’s No Leaving Now," was released just that morning.
The show had assigned seats, which can sometimes diminish the energy of the audience. However, from the moment the Swedish singer-songwriter took the stage, his charisma was magnetic and his energy palpable.
He sheepishly sauntered out, making a silly face to the audience, before choosing one of his many guitars and opening the night with “To Just Grow Away,” a song off of his new album.
Mattson’s passion for his music is unmistakable. He seems to lose himself in his own songs, barely staying still. He has a habit of standing slightly bow-legged and bending his knees in and out to the rhythm of his music.
When he is not doing that, he alternates between standing, sitting, walking in circles, and even crouching at the front of the stage, all while strumming along.
His passion was most noteworthy during the song, “Where Do My Bluebird Fly.” He prefaced the song by stating, “I wrote this song when I was younger and pissed off…I’m not pissed off, but I might be, in the middle of the song.” He stomped his boots and ended it by hurling his guitar pick straight down at the stage.
Though his music is known for being unapologetically expressive, Mattson himself was difficult to read. He appeared to have a very dry sense of humor, walking away and then reapproaching the microphone to say, “Thank you,” almost as an afterthought following each song.
After a while however, it was difficult to tell if Mattson was being intentionally funny or simply nervous and shy.
Before playing “There’s No Leaving Now” at the piano, Mattson gruffly stuttered a long explanation of how nervous he gets before playing a show and how thankful he was to have met the guys from his opening band, Strand of Oaks, as they helped to calm his nerves.
After rambling for a few moments, Mattson seemed to think better of his words and remarked that he “could have said that better,” eliciting a few laughs from the crowd.
After several melancholy songs, Mattson remarked, “I’m not gonna whine all night, you know. I have some hopeful songs too!” He began playing “Troubles Will Be Gone,” but stopped very briefly to tune his guitar, giggling throughout the following verse.
The crowd at the Wiltern was diverse and very vocal, to the point that Mattson actually asked the audience, “Did you guys pay money just to yell stuff?” That said, the yelling was positive. Fans screamed that they love Mattson and remarked on his physical appearance, causing him to raise his arms and flex jokingly.
Mattson graciously thanked his audience before leaving the spotlight. fter a few minutes of the crowd cheering to a dark empty stage, Mattson walked purposefully back toward his guitars, simply picked up his beer as though he had forgotten it, and crossed back almost to the curtain, before grinning and sitting at the piano to play an encore.
After many loud requests for it, Mattson began his three-song encore with “Dreamer.” He ended the night with a bow to the audience, who, in turn, gave him two standing ovations.
Reach Seema Vennam here.