Concert review: Passenger

Concert review: Passenger

Letting it go

Text: Adibah Isa

Image: Facebook | LAMC Productions/Photopitaccess - Music Photography by Aloysius Lim

10 times Mike Rosenberg a.k.a. Passenger brought British humour on stage in a pop culture commentary we weren’t expecting

1. When he reminded everyone that his hit song was in fact, Let Her Go
And not Frozen's Let It Go, as he was quick to point out after his first song, Fairytales and Firesides. "I really have just one very famous song," he added, "You're laughing but it's true." According to him, some people come to hear the Disney soundtrack.

2. When he acknowledged the sad nature of his songs
Before he went through with his 15-song gig proper, he casually warned the crowd at The Star Theatre of the miserable nature of his words. "You can probably tell from the first song that this is going to be the happiest night of your life." Armed with just his acoustic guitar and a few equipment changes, his raspy, earnest voice soared through the auditorium, gripping the crowd with some of his saddest lyrics.

3. When he told everyone that it's okay to sneeze out loud
After mentioning that the Singapore crowd was lovely and quiet, Rosenberg encouraged fans to be more vocal and even shared an anecdote of an audience member he encountered who had to contain a sneeze, her eyes almost popped out.

4. When he shared his drink of choice for the night
"Apple juice," he gestured. "Very strong Apple juice."

5. When he shared his busking experiences in Europe and Australia
According to the singer-songwriter, busking is when "you play music and people throw food". He did so for five years in Europe and Australia on the streets and in bars at night, where he would play to a crowd of seven — two of them being the bar staff.

6. When he almost sang someone to his death
Well, not exactly. Before launching into the tearjerker Travelling Alone, he shared his inspirations behind the song, which involved an encounter with an old man who was listening to Rosenberg busking in Copenhagen. As Rosenberg shared, the man was very old, and had shut his eyes. Turns out, his visitor had just been intently listening and told a touching story about his wife who had passed, and how he was travelling alone to fulfill his promise.

7. When he made everyone stand up and sing along to the stuff he hates
Luckily, they were universal. What does Rosenberg hate? Racists, fake Facebook friends and The X-Factor. We're with you.

8. When he shared that Let Her Go was written in just 45 minutes
"I didn't overthink it," he revealed. "It fell out of my heart and it changed my life."

9. When he introduced his guest, Bruce Springsteen
"Ladies and gentlemen will you please welcome..." he joked. While Mr. Springsteen himself didn't turn up, Rosenberg did drop a cover of Dancing In The Dark in the encore segment.

10. When he ended the night on a motivational note
"We don't have to listen to what Donald Trump is telling us," he said. When it seems that every other public figure is dropping their two cents' worth on American politics, Rosenberg did a touch-and-go and left us with Holes, a song about carrying on no matter what.

Passenger performed for the first time in Singapore on 13 January at The Star Theatre, courtesy of LAMC Productions.