Passenger: Staring at the ceiling in the dark

Passenger | Eventim Apollo | 26 November 2016

Long before he was Passenger, Mike Rosenberg was a busker. It shows. Not only can he work a crowd, whipping them into a frenzy with a few hand gestures, he knows how to tell a story – and not just with his music.

So the most touching moments of his triumphant sold-out London show are those between the songs, when he describes the insecurities uncovered by having a smash hit single or shares, with a momentarily hushed Hammersmith Apollo, the heartbreaking stories that inspired ‘Travelling Alone’. The ballad itself, performed solo on just an acoustic guitar, is even more touching and, alongside unplugged performances of ‘The Sound of Silence’ and ‘I Know’, provides a melancholy counterpoint to an otherwise jubilant set.

Backed by a full band, the singer-songwriter leads his captive audience through celebratory renditions of favourites like ‘Anywhere’, the inevitable ‘Let Her Go’, and ‘Scare Away The Dark’, which leads to an unprovoked mass singalong that continues long after Rosenberg leaves the stage. It’s still going when he returns for the encore and, clearly moved by the response, happily joins in again.

The communal joy only grows with soaring takes on ‘Home’ and ‘Holes’ that send over 5000 people home positively buzzing. 


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