Live Review: Passenger, Stu Larsen at Academy, 14/10/13

Passenger:VitoAndreoni1 copyIt’s not often you go to a sold out concert at the Academy and it’s just one man and his guitar on stage, but that’s exactly what happened tonight.

Passenger were originally a folk band from Brighton formed in 2003, with their debut album Wicked Man’s Rest being released in 2007, however in 2009 they broke up.

Since then, lead singer Mike Rosenberg has chosen to keep the stage name Passenger and has busked across the world, before releasing his debut album All The Little Lights in 2012.

Since then, you haven’t been able to go anywhere without his chart topping song ‘Let Her Go’ being played.

Rosenberg’s best friend, and van driver is also a musician, Stu Larsen, and he opens the show.

Essentially, he’s a good singer, he just doesn’t seem to capture the audience as much as Rosenberg, although he does try to involve the audience by covering Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ and encouraging everyone to sing along, much to peoples dismay.

It’s not often that one man and his guitar can capture the attention of an audience this large, but he manages to do it.

Opening the show with one of his earlier songs ‘Table For One’, which most people don’t seem to know, however the audience still manage to sway to the music.

The slightly drunk crowd still manage to listen to their every command Rosenberg gives them; if he asks for silence, he gets it, if he asks for clapping, he gets it, if he asks for everyone to sing along, he gets it.

His ability to crack jokes inbetween songs keeps the atmosphere light, despite the meaning behind his songs being quite heavy.

Passenger:VitoAndreoni7 copy

Rosenberg gives a brief summary of each song, before launching into it, which is why when he proclaims he’d wrote a new song people listened eagerly waiting to hear it, before covering Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’.

He jokes that he wasn’t going to play his only hit song ‘Let Her Go’ and people seem to take him seriously and begin to reach for their bags and jackets, before he says “of course I’m going to sing it, it’s my only hit”.

As someone who’d spent most of his time previously in Glasgow busking in Buchanan Street and working hard for his success, it’s easy to see why he isn’t a big fan of The X Factor and their ‘stars’, shown in his song ‘I Hate’, “And I hate the X Factor, for murdering music, you bunch of money grabbing pricks”.

He’s someone who’s worked his way to his success and earned every fan he has, and hasn’t cheated his way there like some talent show wannabes.

With his ability to write catchy yet powerful songs, and to capture an audience with only a guitar and his voice, it’s clear that Rosenberg will only get bigger and more recognition for his work, which he truly deserves.

Words: Jessica Turner
Photos: Vito Andreoni


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