Published Jul 09, 2016The legions of fans who braved the menacing coal-grey clouds that hung over Ottawa's LeBreton Flats Park Friday night (July 8) were treated to the first area appearance of singer/songwriter Kristian Matsson (a.k.a. the Tallest Man on Earth).
Headlining the festival's third largest stage for the second night of the nine-day festival, Matsson brought along his three-piece live band to help give their intimate sound a more gregarious pull. Opening the set with two songs from 2012's There's No Leaving Home ("Wind and Walls" and "1904") it became apparent that Matsson's live setup was more fit for a club setting, as his band's sound came off far too lush and lacking in power to connect with the festival crowd.
Although Matsson played a crowd-pleasing cross-section of his material, including songs from all four of his full-lengths, he came off rather staid and reserved during his set, rarely interacting with his live band (who were relegated to the back of the stage) or the audience, mostly repeating the fact that he's never played Ottawa before.
The robust crowd soaked in every moment nonetheless, belting out lyrics to favourites like "The Wild Hunt" and "King of Spain" from his breakthrough 2010 album The Wild Hunt. Launching into a beautiful rendition of the title track from his 2015 LP Dark Bird is Home and "Like the Wheel" from his 2010 EP Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird, Matsson closed off a peculiarly scant 65-minute set that lacked energy, passion and a much-requested encore, leaving the fans with a performance that was short and a bit too sweet.