On November 1st, when some people were already munching on Christmas cookies (the author of this article reserves all things Christmas for December though), sweet, yet spicy, singer Michael Rosenberg made a halt in Hamburg on his tour through Europe to reminisce about life and love.
Rosenberg, more commonly known under his pseudonym Passenger, has been trying something new for the past few concerts: having a band on stage with him. The former street musician turned music hall artist spent several years travelling all across Europe, where he drew inspiration for his intimate songs. “Let Her Go” (not the infamous Disney-anthem “Let It Go”, apparently people get these two mixed up) finally opened the doors to the professional, high-class music industry for Rosenberg, way back in 2012. Since then he has opened for fellow British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran on his tour through the UK, gigs in NZ and Australia and is now embarking on a solo tour. Rosenberg’s songs speak of truth, regret, grief and persistence. His unique voice is dynamic and compelling, drawing the listener to him and his wonderful words of hope and despair.
Fan favorite “Let Her Go” (All the Little Lights) got everyone in the audience to sing and sway along, the song being less about a past relationship but rather the home we leave behind when we conquer the world. In the moments of solitude we miss the things most dearest to us, even if we are travelling the most beautiful parts of the world.
“Everything” from Passenger’s latest record Young as the Morning Old as the Sea is in a way a sequel to the singer’s chart breaking “Let Her Go”. He laments what it feels like to have “got something to lose”.
Upbeat “Anywhere” (Young as the Morning Old as the Sea) is an ode to freedom, to being free to go anywhere you want to go – but at the same time it is about sharing these experiences, sharing the adventure that is life with someone else. The singer says that “sad songs make him happy” but this song needs no sad undertones to put a smile on your face.
Opening act Gregory Alan Isakov was the perfect pick to introduce the audience to the music to come, so make sure to check out his music as well. His raspy voice presented a stark contrast to Rosenberg’s, yet both shared songs that try to capture raw emotions.
Passenger manages to hit all the right nerves and I thus left the concert hall beguiled and beaming, longing for more.
If you want to hear more from Passenger, make sure to follow him on Spotify.
Maria was listening to Passenger’s album Young as the Morning Old as the Sea while writing this review.