Tallest Man On Earth performs at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival. i

Tallest Man On Earth performs at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival. Erik Jacobs for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Erik Jacobs for NPR
Tallest Man On Earth performs at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival.

Tallest Man On Earth performs at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival.

Erik Jacobs for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

The Tallest Man On Earth, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2012folkalley

Kristian Matsson, the smallish Swede who performs under the moniker The Tallest Man on Earth, sings, plays guitar and occasionally takes a turn at the piano. That's all there is to his act: no backing band, no frills. Heck, he barely needs amplification, given the volume at which he performs. But that right there — the gigantic force of his delivery, the percussive hyper-dexterity of his playing — is part of what makes him so magnetic on stage. On paper, he's just another poet strumming a guitar. In front of a crowd, and on all of his records, he's, well, The Tallest Man on Earth.

Jackson Browne may have officially headlined the 2012 Newport Folk Festival's second and final day, but across the festival grounds, Matsson was drawing a comparable crowd. Fans overflowed well beyond the point at which they could reasonably be expected to see the singer on stage — up a nearby hillside, all the way to the walls of nearby Fort Adams and back to the concession areas — as Matsson blazed through songs from each of his records, with an emphasis on this summer's terrific There's No Leaving Now. Highlights of his show are captured here, recorded live on Sunday, July 29 in Newport, R.I.

Set List
  • "To Just Grow Away"
  • "Love Is All"
  • "1904"
  • "The Gardener"
  • "Criminals"
  • "There's No Leaving Now"
  • "Where Do My Blackbird Fly"
  • "Wind and Walls"
  • "Like The Wheel"
  • "King of Spain"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Newport Folk Festival

Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear perform at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Madisen Ward And The Mama Bear, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

The mother-and-son duo radiated easy familiarity and sincerity during this charming afternoon set.

Listen Loading… 49:14
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/429049449/434694125" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Brandi Carlile performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Brandi Carlile, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Hear the folk-rock powerhouse perform candid, emotional songs from The Firewatcher's Daughter.

Listen Loading… 1:08:23
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/429333796/434691259" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Luluc performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Luluc, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

An Australian duo spending time in Brooklyn makes quiet, intimate, yearning music.

Listen Loading… 39:27
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/427188612/429080001" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sturgill Simpson performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Sturgill Simpson, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Listen to the outlaw country singer's high-octane, honky-tonking set.

Listen Loading… 56:02
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/427719252/427796611" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lord Huron's Ben Schneider performs live at the Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Lord Huron, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

The Los Angeles band's Newport Folk set was jubilant and loud.

Listen Loading… 57:00
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/427193739/427194962" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Courtney Barnett performs at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Courtney Barnett, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

The rising Australian rock star went electric and then some this weekend at Newport.

Listen Loading… 31:20
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/426710883/426713214" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Jason Isbell smiles during a performance at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Jason Isbell, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Spirits were high Saturday as Isbell performed songs from his new album, Something More Than Free.

Listen Loading… 1:00:34
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/426505568/426556257" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Tallest Man On Earth performed Friday at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

The Tallest Man On Earth, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Swedish songwriter Kristian Matsson gave a performance worthy of his stage name on Friday.

Listen Loading… 59:44
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/426247490/426248213" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Lone Bellow performed Friday night at the 2015 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

The Lone Bellow, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2015

Listen to the band's soaring Friday set, featuring guest appearances by Leon Bridges and Lucius.

Listen Loading… 57:20
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/426245527/426246074" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor