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Live: Passenger

Passenger serenaded a packed crowd with his collection of honest, heartfelt music


19th November

O2 Apollo


Michael Rosenberg—or Passenger as he is more popularly known—serenaded a packed 02 Apollo on Wednesday night, performing his vast collection of honest and heartfelt music.

The crowd, which was refreshingly free of the squealing teenie-boppers that I was expecting, was warmed up by a rather adorable The Once who livened up the crowd with their authentic folk music.

Humbly taking to the stage, Passenger began with ‘The Wrong Direction’, well-known from his hit album All the Little Lights and a true taster to his lyrical wit. Flowing through other songs with quirky anecdotes and banter with the lively crowd, his introduction to ‘Riding to New York’ was a truly moving story, his performance silencing the hall into a communal humility.

The core of the set I felt began with his rendition of the famous ‘Sound of Silence’; with a blaring white light behind him, the silhouetted figure gave the tranquil song a layer of intensity and, in that classic way that only true artists can do, made the song very much his own.

Quite unexpectedly that beautiful riff which begins ‘Let Her Go’ followed with no introduction. A song that carries so much emotion I found myself embarrassingly wiping a tear from my face whilst swallowing back a bigger outburst. This track, which Passenger admitted only took him 45 minutes to write, is an instant classic; it’s the sort of song that reaches out of the radio and immediately halts conversation.

After possibly the best, football-chanting style encore I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of, Passenger admitted that he had pondered: “What happens when ‘Let Her Go’ is not on the radio anymore?” Yet he showed through his truly down-to-earth nature that this does not really matter; his genuine love for making music should surpass any need or want for an overriding commercial success.