I love going to concerts for the loud ringing in the ears, being a part of a crowd where strangers become like family for a couple of hours and for the strong smell of beer that comes home on my clothes with me. I also love going to gigs to discover new artists and bands, to witness them sharing what they probably created in their bedroom or garage. However, on the 2nd of February when I went to Passenger (Mike Rosenberg) at Thebarton Theatre, I wasn’t expecting to discover anything. I was confident I knew his songs and folk guitar riffs off by heart, this was just going to be a great night with my mates and some really good music. However, that night when I walked out of Thebby Theatre’s doors into the warm breeze, I realised that I had discovered something, I had learnt more about myself. *Sorry for being cheesy.* So, I could write this review about how good the acoustics were, or how Passenger never failed to hit a note, and that is all true, I’m sure you could read it anywhere. But no, I’m going to write about how this busker from London touched a piece of me, and I’m sure from the sparkling eyes around me, I wasn’t the only one.
Those who thought Passenger was only a guy who could write one hit song and have it ripped off by Disney’s Frozen were proven wrong, and like the rest of us became captivated by this bearded man on stage. Quite typically I was at this concert with a bunch of my busking friends who work their butts off making it in the music industry. Passenger sung his song 27 and dedicated it to those brave people that are following their dream. He reminded the muscos that when they’re sitting alone at night after playing to only a handful of people, sometimes on the other side of the world from home, what they played would have made a difference to some stranger passing by. The wise words were to stay true to yourself and work hard, success will come. Look at Passenger for an example, once just a dude on the street with a six string and now travelling the world charging $90+ for a ticket. My limited music talent hasn’t let me experience this but I think it could be defined as success!
The ability to completely silence and captivate a young audience at Thebby would have been thought impossible, but Mike NEARLY managed. The fans were absolutely lost in his music and stories- shout out to the lad who kept calling out supportive words such as “you’re a f******* legend” and getting on first name basis with the singer. When Passenger covered Simon and Garfunkel, nobody dared disturb the sounds of silence. He also did a version of Ain’t No Sunshine but I would have much preferred to have heard another one of his originals than a Bill Writhers tune that only should be played at a 70’s party.
Passenger played for a decent couple of hours, but still everyone chanted him back when he said goodnight and left the stage. The singer/ songwriter pleased with an encore of Home and Holes. The world can seem pretty corrupt and unfair at the moment, the magic about Passengers music was his lyrics carried hope and connected with everyone there.
So, going back to what I previously mentioned about discovering a piece of me at that concert, I think it all comes down to fact of how powerful music really is, especially when performed by somebody as down to earth and passionate about their art as Passenger.