It never ceases to amaze me the effect one song can have on a musician’s career. Let Her Go has become an international hit for UK singer Mike Rosenberg aka Passenger. Selling out two dates in one of Dublin’s best venues is not easily done. After years opening concerts for other artists it is now Passenger’s time to shine. And shine he does!
On a beautiful Dublin evening a very young and largely female crowd await the arrival of Rosenberg to the stage. Walking on to a deafening level of screams he launches straight into Life’s for the Living. His unique voice sounds as good live as it does on the CD, and the crowd sings along to every single word. With the tone of the night set, he addresses his audience for the first time.
It is here that the only negative of the entire night rears its head for the first time. The amount of chatter in the crowd at times makes it hard to hear what is being said. On more than one occasion Rosenberg is forced to ‘sssh’ the talkers, which only works for a short while. It must be frustrating for a performer to deal with. To the credit of the crowd the majority are very respectful throughout the quieter songs.
The set continues with a mix of songs from his back catalogue and new album ‘All The Little Lights’. An interesting cover of the Simon and Garfunkel song Sound Of Silence is sadly cut short by continuous shouting of one concertgoer who spent a bit to much time in the bar before hand.
His sense of humor shines though in the stories he tells between songs, and thanks to a well-timed cover of the Taylor Swift hit I Knew You Were Trouble (including the obligatory goat noises). One of the highlights of the whole set is the very clever Hate Song which gets a fantastic reaction from the crowd and has everyone sings along.
All of the requests from the crowd for his song Let Her Go are finally answered when Rosenberg starts to play the delicate introduction. Every single camera phone in Vicar Street is out and aimed at the stage. As the set draws to a close we are treated to a brand new song called Whispers. Rosenberg tells the crowd that he needs quiet as the song is so new he has trouble remembering the words. It is fantastic song that builds to a big ending. If this is what to expect from his new material, then his new album will be a huge success
A two-song encore brings his set to an end. A fan favourite, Holes, closes the night with a huge sing-a-long that seems to take Mr.Rosenburg by surprise. As the crowd files out the smiles on their faces say more than words ever could.
Passenger Photo Gallery
Photos: Alessio Michelini