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all photos: From last time

When I learned that the Tallest Man On Earth would be back in D.C., but at the 9:30 Club instead of The Black Cat, I wasn’t sure if Kristian Matsson’s intricate guitar gems could be pulled off in that space. I was dead wrong.

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Sunday’s show capped off a 60-day fall tour, but Matsson rarely looked tired. With most of the night focusing on material from his 2010 releases Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird EP and The Wild Hunt, Matsson was captivating from the get-go.

During his hour and a half set, Matsson silenced the room. At times all you could was Matsson and the occasional shutter-drive on a camera. But when the crowd at the 9:30 Club actually made noise, it was with rapturous applause. Especially on fan favorites “The Gardener”, “The Wild Hunt” and “You’re Going Back”.

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The duet with Amanda Bergman on “Thrown Right At Me” to close off the set, was a very sweet and tender moment. The encore of “The Dreamer”, “A Lion’s Heart” and “This Wind” was a satisfying close to a solid show. Matsson might be taking some time off to write or just be home, but it’s rightly deserved.

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I must have misunderstood how big Bon Iver actually was in 2008, because the amount of people who were at the 9:30 Club before S. Carey’s show was surprising. Sean Carey, who is known for playing drums in Bon Iver, released his own album early this year and spent his 45-minute set crafting intricate washes of sound. However, those songs from his debut record All We Grow, while complimenting the cold, rainy Sunday night, would have been better if I was in my apartment.

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But that’s not true on certain songs. “Mothers” is definitely stage ready, especially with the percussion heavy peak at the end of the song. There is definitely a sign of good things to come for S. Carey, but it might take a second show for me to come around.

If you missed the show, you’ll be able to listen to the Tallest Man On Earth set soon over at NPR.

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