The Tallest Man on Earth – Melkweg – 02.09.2010

Groot-muziek! Groot-muziek indeed. Beautiful guitar-playing, a voice full of emotion, lyrics that successfully walk the line between obscure imagery and stories you can relate to, and a warm, charismatic performer. What’s not to like?

I love the Oude Zaal in the Melkweg and this was the first time I’ve seen a solo artist headlining there. He really commanded the full stage, stalking about like a singing acoustisaurus on his skinny legs, sometimes stepping forward to invade the private space of fans at the foot of the stage. He’s a wonderful guitarist, with some Nick Drake-like finger picking mixed in with percussive strumming. I was only familiar with the songs from The Wild Hunt beforehand, so they were the highlights for me – particularly King of Spain. But just about everything was good. He finished up the main set with a couple of new songs, on one of which he was joined by (I guess) his girlfriend for a lovely love-duet.

I certainly recommend seeing him live if you ever have the chance – the records don’t really do him justice I think.

Support came from the Nurses, an electro-pop trio. Nadine rightly pointed out that they were a bit Shins-like, although only if James Mercer lost the ability to string a sentence together. Other bands that crossed my mind while listening were The Incredible String Band and The Beta Band. Not much in the way of lyrics, but plenty of catchy melody lines and some nice sounds from the various keyboards and noise boxes that joined the electric guitar and drums. I’m not certain the sound guy was on top of things as I’m sure we weren’t hearing the drums properly. But a worthy support act for TTMoE, who clearly is a big fan of theirs, as he dedicated a song to them in his own set later.

Nice way to spend a Thursday evening!