On Thursday Kansas City welcomed two musical imports to American soil when The Tallest Man On Earth, of Sweden, played the Midland with Canada’s Basia Bulat.

Kristian Matsson was a dynamic performer, beginning and ending every one of his indie-folk numbers by thrusting his guitar triumphantly into the air. He indulged the comfortably-seated audience with tracks off his most recent album, Dark Bird Is Home as well as some of his former singles. The singer-songwriter has previously been known as a solo performer, but Dark Bird Is Home offered a wide array of rich instruments, allowing him to perform with a full band on this tour.

His crisp vocals boomed over the audience, accompanied by strings that graciously complimented the soothing tone of history personal ballads. “Kansas City, that was America for me as a kid,” Matsson announced early in his set, referring to a t-shirt that was given to him as a child with the words “Kansas City” plastered across the chest. After sharing this fond memory, he divided his time with a lively rendition of his songs, constantly pacing back and forth between the front of the stage and back towards the band, all while crouching over his guitar that he hugged tightly against his chest.

Basia Bulat is no stranger to the area, having played Kansas City recently and Lawrence not too long ago. The songstress is as whimsical as her name, and was a vision in her gold-sequined cape that glittered under the stage lights. She glowed like an angel in black tights and saddle shoes, impressively showcasing her multi-instrumental talents with a voice that rang out through every corner of the massive theater. She occasionally interjected with charming banter, and by the end of the set won the Kansas City crowd over with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Ain’t No Cure For Love.”

Words and photos by Fally Afani




Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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