Armed with his acoustic guitar, Passenger played to a sold out crowd with his gravely voice and unique style of play.
Passenger aka Mike Rosenberg a sudden overnight success last year with song, Let Her Go, was actually not so sudden at all. Passenger, originally a four piece band had got some attention overseas but when they broke up Rosenberg went solo, kept the name and pushed the limits by writing and playing anywhere he possibly could.
He released a few albums but it was 2012’s critically acclaimed All The Little Lights that caught the most attention. He’s not only a great singer/songwriter but a great storyteller. His songs are raw and most often about lost love, lost souls and the hardship of life.
Even though the songs are sorrowful there is a hopeful sentiment in them as if he is a champion for the underdog. His underlying message in them is often ‘tomorrow is another day” and to not give up on your dreams. It’s endearing.
The show opened up with, Fairy Tales & Firesides. Most of the songs on the set list derived from his last two albums, 2012’s All The Little Lights and Whispers which was released in June.
The crowd was diverse, there was young children with their parents, couples, and older folks. Their reaction to almost every single song he played was the reaction normally reserved for encore songs. I was not surprised at all, Rosenburg is very likable and charming.
He repeatedly told the crowd how much their support meant to him. Over the course of the night he shared many stories, some funny and some sad. He expects the crowd to participate and interact, whether it was clapping along to, 27 or singing at the top of their voices on Scare Away The Dark.
There were songs that required silence amongst the crowd and again they obliged. There was a definite mutual respect tonight between the two of them tonight.
There were a lot of covers in the set list, Eye Of The Tiger, What is Love (Baby Don’t Hurt Me), and a beautiful version of Simon & Garfunkel’s, The Sound Of Silence.
One highlight was the song, I Hate, a song where he lists everything he hates. He jokingly said to the Philly crowd he hates people who eats cheese steaks and chips then changed his mind and said they are the most delicious things on earth.
He ended the song by almost shredding his guitar. Other highlights were, Heart On Fire, in which he was joined onstage by opening act Stu Larsen, and the song, Whispers.
Over all, this was a great night of music for his east coast fans, he set out to captivate us and that he did. His music is, “music for the soul,” and this tour is highly recommended.